Argentina v Canada: 2024 Copa América semi-final – live updates | Copa América

TMI Newsdesk
12 Min Read


Key events

20 min: A bit of a lull, which both teams probably appreciate on this hot, humid night. But Argentina work it slowly but surely up the field before Canada reclaim possession.

18 min: More attacking prowess from Canada, but it’s almost undone by another walkabout by Crepeau, who is nearly chipped from about 75 yards out.

Reminder: Canada had Venezuela beaten until Crepeau wandered out and let a long shot sail over his head.

16 min: Messi takes on five players and only beats four.

Canada are off to the races, but Kone puts a cross a bit behind Larin, and Larin isn’t able to connect cleanly to get it to the mostly open … you guessed it … Shaffelburg.

15 min: Davies and Cornelius make a couple of vital interceptions, and Crepeau positions himself well to catch a ball lobbed into the penalty area.

12 min: CHANCE for Argentina, and that came quickly. Di Maria defies his age with a quick run down the right and dumps it back to Messi near the top of the penalty area. Messi shoots straight, parallel to the touchline. Fortunately for Canada, he was standing a couple of feet outside the post, and the shot rolls wide.

10 min: Argentina’s first sustained possession in the Canadian half ends with right back Montiel playing a pass to Laryea, who is on the other team.

Montiel has already lost Shaffleburg twice and now has committed an unforced error going forward. Not a great start.

8 min: CHANCE for Canada, and did Argentina not watch any video of Canada’s first games? Shaffelburg again gets into space and finds room to shoot. It goes wide, but Argentina will have to have a few questions of their defense right now.

Our officials tonight are from Chile:

Referee: Piero Maza
AR1: Claudio Urrutia
AR2: Jose Retamal
Fourth official: Cristian Garay
Fifth official: Juan Serrano
VAR: Juan Lara
AVAR: Edson Cisternas

5 min: Argentina resume connecting passes until Johnston intercepts, and the defense makes the mistake of leaving Shaffelburg unmarked as he receives a pass at the top of the box. They recover and force him to rush a shot high, but that was promising for Canada and puzzling for Argentina.

4 min: A bit of offensive intrigue for Canada after a wayward pass amongst the Argentinian bank ranks, but it comes to little.

But after Argentina’s first attack, Canada break quickly and win a corner kick.

2 min: Alert: It’s 85 degrees Fahrenheit with 70% humidity. No wonder Canada isn’t pressing much, allowing Argentina to pass from side to side.

1 min: We’re off. Canada is wearing red. Argentina is wearing Argentina blue and white.

Reminder: While most US sports events don’t start at the top of the hour, Copa matches have been rather punctual.

So … we’re almost ready to go.

Mailbag!

Joe Pearson: “My online sportsbook has Canada at 9 to 1. So you’re saying there’s a chance?”

Drake apparently bet $300k, so he’d be looking at throwing another couple of million dollars on the pile.

——

Justin Kavanagh: “Good evening Beau. How lucky we are to get to watch two great international sides, Argentina and Spain, on the same day. Hopefully, we’ll get to see both in action again on Sunday (no offence, Canadians). Which got me wondering, how many times have they met each other in top-level competitive football? Only once, it turns out, at the 1966 World Cup (Argentina 2-1 Spain, since you ask). What a final that would make in 2026! And just think, Lamine Yamal will be a wily, 18-year old veteran by then.”

Given Yamal’s breathtaking goal today and Argentina’s uneven performances in the Copa so far, I think Spain would reverse that 1966 score rather easily.

——

Niall O’Keeffe: “Fair play for doing the minute by minute for Canada’s biggest game ever. 2022 World Cup games included. Lived in Toronto for 15 years and was a Toronto FC season ticket holder. This team is the best national team Canada has had. As someone who proudly holds dual Irish and Canadian citizenship, I have NOWTV ready to go for the match at 01:00 Irish time. Shoutout to my son Aidan who drove down from Toronto to New Jersey for this game. And to my former team mate Greg Dee who is a huge fan of the team and is also there (and went to the 2022 World Cup). Go Canada! Will be close.”

I enjoy doing the MBM, but I’ll trade you if it means I can be in Dublin right now. Or Ballyferriter, where I plan to set part of the novel I’ll get around to writing one day.

Argentina lineup

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa) is also riding the high of a penalty-shootout win.

Left back Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon) and center backs Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United) and Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur) have been key parts of a stellar defense. Martinez also has a goal to his name.

Right back Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla) gets his second start of the tournament.

Midfielders Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea) and Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid) also have had more impact defensively than offensively.

Left midfielder Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool) had a pair of assists and a lot of incisive passes in the preceding games.

A mild surprise – 36-year-old Angel De Maria (Benfica) gets the call at right mid.

Julian Alvarez (Manchester City) has one goal while sharing time up front in the Copa.

And then there’s Lionel Messi (Inter Miami), who has one assist to show for his 2.5 xAG (expected assisted goals), which raises the question of whether his critics are looking at the wrong part of the team.

ON THE BENCH … Lautaro Martinez, who has four goals.

Emiliano Martinez celebrates a stop in the penalty shootout against Ecuador with Argentinian fans. Photograph: Maria Lysaker/USA Today Sports

Canada lineup

All of Canada’s goal-scorers in this tournament are in the starting lineup. All two of them. One goal each.

Goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau (Portland Timbers) shook off an ignominious frolic up the field, conceding the equalizing goal, in the quarter-final against Venezuela. Any goalkeeper on the winning side of a penalty shootout has momentum.

Left back Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) is on Real Madrid’s wishlist, according to the people who write such things.

Center backs Derek Cornelius (Malmo) and Moise Bombito (Colorado Rapids) haven’t been overawed by the occasion.

Right back Alistair Johnston (Celtic) is, as you’d expect from a Celtic player, a battler.

Midfielder Stephen Eustáquio (FC Porto) has had a quiet tournament, though he’s fourth in the team in xG at 0.6, according to the people who calculate such things.

Alongside him, Ismaël Koné (Marseille) returns to the starting lineup.

Attacking mid Jonathan David (Lille) is tied for the team lead in goals (1) and key passes (5) with …

… left wing Jacob Shaffelburg (Nashville), who seemed to be taking on the whole Venezuelan team by himself.

Right wing Richie Laryea (Toronto) was a substitute in the group-stage opener against Argentina and has been subbed off in his three starts.

Forward Cyle Larin (Mallorca) will need to raise his game if Canada are to have a chance tonight.

Jacob Shaffelburg fights through the Venezuela defense. Photograph: Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports

Preamble

Can you believe all these Copa América mismatches?

Mighty Canada against … who? Argentina?

Who does Argentina even have? That’s their best player? The guy who looks like he’s about 5-foot-2? How old is he? He’s 37???!!! And he plays for some team in Miami?! Guess he couldn’t find any decent teams in Argentina.

Canada has a lot of good teams. The Vancouver Whitecaps. Toronto FC. CF Montréal. FC Edmon- … what? Oh, they’re not around any more? Well, still – that’s three.

If the United States can’t beat Canada, what chance does Argentina have?

Yes, obviously, this is tongue-in-cheek. A Canadian win tonight would be one of the biggest upsets in the history of international soccer. Watch with me to see if it happens, won’t you?

Beau will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Joseph Lowery on how Canada have made it this far:

Canada have the best player in Concacaf in Alphonso Davies. Their midfield features Porto’s Stephen Eustáquio and Ismaël Koné, who will move from Watford to Marseille this summer. Jonathan David and Cyle Larin form a dangerous forward partnership at the top of manager Jesse Marsch’s customary 4-2-2-2 shape.

Marsch’s influence on this Canada team is unmistakable, despite having only been hired in May. The American manager has coached just six games in his new post, leading the charge in two pre-Copa friendlies against the Netherlands and France before his team’s group stage began with a 2-0 loss to Argentina. Canada couldn’t hold on in that match with the reigning world champions, but they were impressive for 45 minutes. They equaled Argentina’s shot count and went into the break tied at 0-0 before fading in the second half.

There’s no shame in coming up short against Argentina, of course. More than the obvious gap in quality between the two teams and more than the loss itself, there was a crucial takeaway from the tournament opener: Canada came to play.

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