The Argentine national team defeated Colombia in the semi-finals of the Copa America in a penalty thriller and gave the South American Championship the dream final against Brazil in the Maracana Stadium. Lionel Messi’s selection won 3-2 on penalties at the Estadio Mane Garrincha in Brasilia on Tuesday (local time). After 120 minutes it was 1: 1 (1: 0). Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez became the match winner.
Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez gave Argentina the lead in the seventh minute. The fifth submission in the tournament (with four goals) was once again provided by superstar Messi. He lost control of the ball in the penalty area, but prevailed against Yerry Mina, turned and lay back on Martinez, who hit with a low shot.
For Colombia, which played the South American Championship without its star James Rodriguez, Luis Diaz (FC Porto) equalized to 1-1 (61st). After a goalless overtime, Argentina’s goalkeeper Martinez from Aston Villa outperformed himself on penalties with three saved penalties. “We said from day one that we wanted to go to the final and what could be better than playing against Brazil at your home?” Said the 28-year-old.
Summit at Maracana Stadium in Rio
The final is scheduled for July 10th in the legendary Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil wants to defend the title in their own country, has an always dangerous striker in Neymar and is currently also leading in the qualifying group for the 2022 World Cup with six wins from six games.
Neymar had made it clear that he wanted the classic in the final: “I want Argentina, I keep my fingers crossed for Argentina, I have friends there, in the final the winner will be Brazil,” he said after Brazil with the 1: 0 against Peru in the first semifinals paved the way for the dream final.
Messi, who is currently without a club due to his expired contract with FC Barcelona, led Argentina, unbeaten in 19 games, into the final and wants to finally win an international title with the national team. The Argentine selection had won the Copa America for the last time in 1993.