Lionel Messi Helps Argentina Advance To Copa America Finals

Lionel Messi Argentina Copa America
Lionel Messi of Argentina during the Copa America semifinals vs. USA on June 22.
REX Shutterstock.

Argentina is headed to the Copa America Centenario finals after beating the United States men’s national team, 4-0, on Tuesday night in Houston. The standout player was Argentina captain-forward Lionel Messi, who scored one goal and assisted on two more.

Messi scored on a free kick to give Argentina a 2-0 first-half lead over the United States, and with the goal, Messi became Argentina’s all-time top scorer with 55 goals.

Messi, who is also a forward for Barcelona, passed Gabriel Batistuta’s 54-goal tally with the 25-yard strike, which bent into the upper-right corner of the goal. American goalkeeper Brad Guzan had absolutely no chance at a save. Messi opted for his signature Adidas 16+ Pureagility cleats during the match.

Lionel Messi Adidas <a href="http://www.adidas.com/us/messi-16-plus-pureagility-firm-ground-cleats/S76487.html?cm_sp=FOOTBALL-_-MASTHEAD-A-_-SHOP_NOW_MESSI_16_PLUS" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" >Messi 16+ Pureagility cleat by Adidas.</a> Courtesy of brand.

The U.S. lost momentum early on in the game when Messi assisted on the first goal with a pass to Ezequiel Lavezzi in the third minute. With zero shots, the United States is the only team to go an entire match without a shot attempt in any of the last four Copa America tournaments.

Two more goals came from Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuaín in the 50th and 86th minute to round out the scoring in the 4-0 win.

On Sunday, Argentina will face the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal between Colombia and Chile, which could end the nation’s 23 year-drought of not winning a major tournament. The U.S. will face the loser on Saturday night for third place.

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