Lionel Messi finally has his first goal at this year’s Copa America, and La Albiceleste are through to the final. Check out the post-match facts and data with our Argentina vs Canada stats page.

Julián Álvarez and Lionel Messi secured Argentina’s passage to the Copa America final following a 2-0 victory over Canada at MetLife Stadium. 

The defending champions weathered an early storm and took the lead through Álvarez’s ninth international goal in the 22nd minute. 

Argentina 2-0 Copa America Semi-Finals Momentum

Messi put the game beyond Canada’s grasp early in the second half, turning home Enzo Fernández’s goal-bound effort from close range. 

Argentina will face the winner of tomorrow’s semi-final clash between Uruguay and Colombia in Miami this weekend. 

Canada started immediately on the front foot, startling their opponents early on as Jacob Shaffelburg was presented with two opportunities, but unable to test Emiliano Martínez on both occasions. 

Largely a passenger in the opening 10 minutes, Messi was given his first sight of goal but could not find the target with his effort from outside the area. 

Despite La Albiceleste’s lacklustre opening, a moment of individual quality sparked the contest into life. 

Rodrigo De Paul was allowed time deep in midfield, picking out the run of Álvarez before taking a touch and prodding the ball beyond Maxime Crépeau for his second goal of the tournament – his first also came against Canada in their opening group game. 

Argentina’s grip tightened on the contest and they almost doubled their lead when an uncharacteristic mistake by Alphonso Davies was almost punished by Ángel Di María, with Messi going close again before the interval. 

Lionel Scaloni’s side would increase their lead six minutes into the second half, with Messi netting his 109th international goal after turning home inside the area, which was eventually given following a VAR review for offside.

Álvarez almost doubled his tally following an exquisite pass from Di María, only to see his effort repelled by Crépeau with the goal at his mercy. 

Canada’s efforts in pulling a goal back were dented when captain Davies was forced off with an injury with 20 minutes remaining but continued to push for a way back into the contest. 

Tani Oluwaseyi came the closest for Jesse Marsch’s side, heading narrowly wide of Martínez’s goal as Argentina saw out the triumph as they edge close to a record-breaking 16th Copa America title. 

Álvarez the Man of the Moment for Argentina

Álvarez has made a name for being a big-game player for Manchester City, and that form has seemingly translated to the international level for Lionel Scaloni’s side. 

His ninth international goal saw him become the fourth player to score in both the Copa America and World Cup semi-finals, alongside Messi, Romário and Diego Forlán. 

Part of the success in this tournament, despite Lionel Scaloni going back and forth between Álvarez and Lautaro Martínez, has been getting Álvarez the ball in dangerous spots. His 0.24 xG per shot ranks third among players with at least five shots attempted behind Martínez (0.29) and the United States’ Ricardo Pepi (0.32):

Julian Alvarez Copa America xG map

With Messi’s international future still up in the air beyond the end of the Copa America, Álvarez has shown he is capable of at least filling some of the gap to be left by Argentina’s number 10.

But the Argentina captain continued to showcase his class on the international stage, with Canada the 38th different opponent Messi has scored against while playing for La Albiceleste – his 21st different opposition in competitive outings. 

Canada’s Fairytale Copa Run Comes to an End

Having already faced Argentina in the group stages of the competition, Marsch was under no illusion about the size of the task in front of him and can be proud of his side’s efforts against the defending Copa America champions. 

But again, their wastefulness in front of goal proved costly and, against the best teams, it is something you are unable to get away with.  Having managed nine shots during the game, Canada mustered just two on target. Five of those efforts also came from inside the area and failed to trouble Martínez. 

In the end, they managed two goals at the tournament from 6.46 expected goals, marking the most drastic underperformance of all 16 sides:

Canada Copa America 2024 xG map

While their tournament may be over, Marsch has solid foundations to build on for the future with the 2026 World Cup now the goal for Canada.

Our Opta match centre delivers you all the Argentina vs Canada stats from their Copa America 2024 semi-final clash at MetLife Stadium.

The match centre below includes team and player stats, expected goals data, passing networks, an Opta chalkboard and more. It gives you everything you need to do your own post-match analysis.

Underneath the match centre you can find the pre-match facts on the game as well. 

Argentina vs Canada: Post-Match Facts

  • Argentina have reached the final in six of their last eight major tournaments (World Cups and CONMEBOL Copa America). The only exceptions were the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2019 Copa América in Brazil, where they were eliminated by the eventual champions (France and Brazil respectively).
  • Argentina have defeated the same opponent twice in a single edition of the Copa America for the fourth time: Canada (2024), Venezuela (1975), Brazil (1937) and Paraguay (1925).
  • Julián Álvarez is the second Argentine player to score in both the semi-finals of the Copa America and the World Cup, joining Lionel Messi. The forward scored against Croatia in Qatar 2022 and tonight against Canada. Only Diego Forlán (Uruguay) and Romário (Brazil) have achieved this milestone for other national teams.
  • With 27 appearances, Ángel Di María became the second-most capped player in Copa America history for Argentina, only behind Lionel Messi (38 matches), who holds the record. Additionally, Nicolás Otamendi made his 26th appearance, tying Javier Mascherano for third place.
  • Lionel Messi has now scored in six different editions of the Copa America, matching the record held by Zizinho since 1957. The Argentine star scored in the 2007, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2021 and 2024 editions, with 2011 being the only exception.
  • Lionel Messi’s first goal in the Copa America was scored 17 years and one day before today’s goal, the longest span between goals for a single player in the history of the tournament, surpassing Zizinho (15 years and 52 days between 1942 and 1957).
  • Rodrigo De Paul’s has assisted 11 goals for Argentina, distributed among nine different players: Ángel Di María (3), Julián Álvarez, Lautaro Martínez, Nicolás Otamendi, Germán Pezzella, Joaquín Correa, Nicolás González, Cristian Romero and Roberto Pereyra.
  • Canada had 24 touches in the opponent box tonight, with five shots from inside the box. Argentina had fewer touches in the box (13), but more shots (7).

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