It will be Lionel Messi’s Argentina against Neymar’s Brazil in the Copa America final on Saturday.
Argentina won their semi-final against Colombia 3-2 on penalties after three saves by goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. Regulation time ended 1-1 at the Mane Garrincha stadium in Brasilia on Tuesday.
Argentina haven’t won a major title since 1993 when they won the Copa America. On this occasion, the team eliminated Colombia on penalties 6-5 in the semi-finals after a goalless draw.
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Brazil beat Peru 1-0 on Monday to advance to the final.
It only took Argentina seven minutes to open the scoring. Rodrigo De Paul found Messi in the penalty area with a through pass. The star got his fifth assist in the tournament with an assist to Lautaro Martinez, who placed the ball in the right corner in front of Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina.
A more aggressive Colombia, led by Juan Cuadrado, touched the bar and post in the second half before leveling in the 61st minute with Luis Diaz, who received the ball to the left of Argentina’s penalty area with almost no angle to beat. Martinez.
The last big opportunity in regulation time came with Messi hitting Ospina’s right post in the 81st minute from close range.
Martinez saved the shots from Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina and Edwin Cardona in the shootout. Messi converted his opportunity on the spot and was one of the happiest players in the celebrations. He is seeking his first major title with Argentina against the favorites of Brazil.
In tears, Martinez said after the game that he wanted to face the Brazilians in the final at the Maracana Stadium.
“They are a great team, the favorite. But we have a great coach, we have the best player in the world and we are going to try to win him,” he said.