Lionel Messi-Inspired Argentina Defeats Canada In Opening Game

Argentina began its defense of the Copa América title with a 2-0 victory against Canada at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Thursday.

Lionel Messi broke an appearance record which had stood for over 70 years by playing in his 35th Copa América match, and was at the heart of Argentina’s goals from Julián Álvarez and Lautaro Martínez.

Canada, appearing in this expanded edition of the Copa América for the first time, was a heavy underdog against the 15-time champion but did squander several promising opportunities to get on the scoresheet.

Both teams had chances in a lively first half played in front of more than 70,000 fans. Ángel Di María couldn’t finish a one-on-one as Argentina counter-attacked from a corner, while Alexis Mac Allister saw his header saved by Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau.

Canada’s best chance of the half fell to Stephen Eustáquio, but his headed effort was saved by Emi Martínez before Alphonso Davies missed the follow-up.

It was Argentina, however, which took the lead early in the second period.

Read more here from CNN.