Lionel Messi and Argentina have advanced to the final by the slimmest of margins, and that means we get to see the championship game plenty of people have been clamoring for.
Argentina booked a date with rival Brazil in the championship game of Copa America 2021 after beating Colombia, 3-2, on penalties following a thrilling 1-1 draw on Tuesday.
The hero of the shootout at Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in Brasilia was Argentina goalkeeper Damian Martinez, who came up with three stops to help send La Albiceleste to its third continental final in the last four editions of the tournament. Martinez denied Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina, and Edwin Cardona in the shootout.
ARGENTINA IS HEADING TO THE COPA AMERICA FINAL pic.twitter.com/BPKZm6WoOS
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 7, 2021
Argentina had initially taken an early lead in regulation, scoring after only seven minutes. Messi continued his inspired form with an assist to Lautaro Martinez, who finished the low feed inside the penalty area with a cross-body shot to the left post.
Colombia fought back, though. After being denied by the woodwork twice in the first half, Los Cafeteros found the equalizer via a tight-angled finish from Luis Diaz in the 61st minute. Argentina nearly went back in front 10 minutes later, but a failure to finish from both Martinez and Angel Di Maria helped send the match to penalties.
Martinez’s heroics in the shootout means Argentina will square off vs. storied foe Brazil in the tournament final on Saturday while Colombia battles Peru in the third-place game a day earlier.