Last night in the semi final of the Copa América, Argentina beat the host country, the US, 4-0. With that victory, Argentina is through to the Copa América final, which is set to be played this Sunday in New Jersey at 9 PM. We’ll find out who its rival will be today in the match between Chile and Colombia at 8 PM.
Argentina maintained the upper hand throughout the game, maintaining possession of the ball and avoiding yellow cards (there’s no traditional rivalry between the US and Argentina in football to warrant unnecessary misdemeanors).
Argentina scored its first goal in the third minute, with a strategic pass from captain Lionel Messi to Ezequiel “Pocho” Lavezzi, who easily headed the ball into the net.
In what can only be described as an amazing free kick, Messi scored the second goal: his 55th goal for the national team, surpassing the record of 54 previously held by the legendary Gabriel Batistuta. Most media outlets are taking the time to describe every detail of that goal as Messi was over 20 meters away, took two steps and forcefully kicked the ball over the wall of defenders and directly into the upper right corner of the goal at the perfect angle. Just check out the video below.
The third and the fourth goals were both scored by striker Gonzalo Higuaín. The third goal was initially saved by US goalkeeper Brad Guzan but Higuaín responded to the rebound by kicking it into the net. The fourth goal was scored on the back of a pass from Messi in the 86th minute, after the US somewhat gave away the ball in its own third.
This Sunday’s match is the third consecutive final played by Argentina in two years (the World Cup, last year’s Copa América and the upcoming game) and there is pressure to win as the team has not won a major title since becoming champion of the Copa América in 1993.
Lavezzi will not be playing in the final after falling over the advertisement boards surrounding the pitch. He was trying to control the ball with his chest in a long pass from Javier Mascherano that was already off the pitch.
Unsurprisingly, #PrayforPocho has since become a Trending Topic on Twitter with many memes and jokes at the expense of his fractured radius.
Imagenes exclusivas del Pocho Lavezzi pic.twitter.com/xOUadkIya1
— Pemberton JR (@Alcocacolico) June 22, 2016
“Exclusive images of Pocho Lavezzi”
Argentina’s rival this Sunday will be decided in today’s semi final between Chile and Colombia. Argentina lost to Chile last year in the final but defeated the Andean squad 2-1 in the group matches this year. The Chile-Colombia match will be played today at 8 PM.