The CONMEBOL COPA America 2024 - Discussion Thread

Who will win the COPA America 2024 crown?

  • Chile

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  • Uruguay

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  • Canada

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  • USA

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Peru

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Guatemala

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other team

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  • Total voters

The Bald Eagle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Nov 25, 2023
The Copa America soccer tournament kicks off on 20th June. The best countries from North and South America will compete in various host cities across the United States. The U.S. men's team hopes to use this opportunity as a trial run for the 2026 World Cup - to be played, by the way, in North America. But the U.S. team faces stiff competition.

The biggest name in Copa America, Lionel Messi - he and Argentina are the reigning World Cup champions, but that was, you know, nearly two years ago. He is now 36. He's been a hit in the MLS. I would never count out Messi, but to what extent can he still compete internationally with this new batch of young players?

  • The world's oldest and most exciting national team tournament will feature 32 vibrant matches with 16 teams, 10 from CONMEBOL and 6 from CONCACAF, will participate as guests.
  • The tournament will be held in 14 host cities across the United States from June 20 to July 14, 2024.

The CONMEBOL Copa América 2024 has its fixture of matches defined and the United States will host the 48th edition of the most exciting and oldest national team competition in the world, after the draw was made on thursday, december 7th.

The schedule includes 32 exciting matches. The Group Stage will be played from June 20 to July 2, the Quarterfinals from June 4 to 6, the Semifinals from June 9 to 10, the Third Place on July 13 and the Grand Final on July 14.

The Argentine national team, reigning champion of America and the world, will begin the defense of its title won in 2021, in the city of Atlanta, at the Mercedes Benz Stadium, on June 20.

In the history of CONMEBOL Copa América, Uruguay and Argentina dominate the table with 15 trophies each, followed by Brazil with 9, Peru, Paraguay and Chile with 2 conquests, while Bolivia and Colombia have won it once since the start of the tournament in 1916.


CONMEBOL Copa América 2024

The CONMEBOL Copa América 2024 will be played in the United States and includes 10 CONMEBOL teams and 6 CONCACAF guest teams. In this edition, this traditional tournament will be organized by both confederations.
The 6 Concacaf teams qualify through the Concacaf Nations League 2023/24. The already known representative teams from North, Central America and the Caribbean and from the United States.
Full Time - Argentina 2-0 Canada, Match Summary

The world champions Argentina defeated Canada 2-0 on Thursday at the stadium in Atlanta. However, Lionel Scaloni, coach of the Argentina football team, was not satisfied with the conditions his team faced during the match because of the field.

The stadium's field was originally made of artificial turf, but the organisers used grass sod for the tournament. The grass was installed after Atlanta United’s last match on June 15.

The manager of the Argentina national team said that it’s good that they won the match; otherwise, this would have been considered a cheap excuse.

"Thank goodness we won, because otherwise it would have been a cheap excuse to sit here and say this but we've known we were going to play here for seven months and they changed the surface two days ago," said Scaloni.

"It's not good for the spectacle. I'm sorry, it's not an excuse, but it's not a pitch. The stadium is beautiful and with the synthetic turf it should be spectacular, but with the (grass) turf today. Honestly, it's not suitable for this kind of players," he said.

Scaloni mentioned that the surface acted as a barrier for the players to play a normal game, and that impacted their performance in the match.

"They were not feeling confident with the poor condition of the pitch, they couldn’t make the passes that they wanted.

"Given the poor condition of the pitch there wasn’t much we could do," he said.

Emiliano Martinez, on the other hand, the goalkeeper of Argentina, also discussed the surface in the post-match presentation.

"Coming here, against a strong Canada, who have good strikers, good players, on a pitch that is a disaster, made it a bit difficult for us," said the keeper.

"We have to improve in that aspect. If not, the Copa America will always be at a slightly lower level than the European Championship," he said.
Full time: Peru vs Chile

Result: Peru 0-0 Chile

Peru and Chile played out a dour goalless draw on Friday in the second match of the 2024 Copa America.

Inter Milan forward Alexis Sanchez, 35, had the best chance of the game in the 16th minute when he ran onto Victor Davila’s cross in the six-yard box, only to blaze a wild strike over the crossbar.

The result is a boost for Canada, who lost 2-0 to Argentina in the opening Group A match on Thursday.
Brazil seem to be strong
The Copa America soccer tournament kicks off on 20th June. The best countries from North and South America will compete in various host cities across the United States. The U.S. men's team hopes to use this opportunity as a trial run for the 2026 World Cup - to be played, by the way, in North America. But the U.S. team faces stiff competition.

The biggest name in Copa America, Lionel Messi - he and Argentina are the reigning World Cup champions, but that was, you know, nearly two years ago. He is now 36. He's been a hit in the MLS. I would never count out Messi, but to what extent can he still compete internationally with this new batch of young players?

  • The world's oldest and most exciting national team tournament will feature 32 vibrant matches with 16 teams, 10 from CONMEBOL and 6 from CONCACAF, will participate as guests.
  • The tournament will be held in 14 host cities across the United States from June 20 to July 14, 2024.

The CONMEBOL Copa América 2024 has its fixture of matches defined and the United States will host the 48th edition of the most exciting and oldest national team competition in the world, after the draw was made on thursday, december 7th.

The schedule includes 32 exciting matches. The Group Stage will be played from June 20 to July 2, the Quarterfinals from June 4 to 6, the Semifinals from June 9 to 10, the Third Place on July 13 and the Grand Final on July 14.

The Argentine national team, reigning champion of America and the world, will begin the defense of its title won in 2021, in the city of Atlanta, at the Mercedes Benz Stadium, on June 20.

In the history of CONMEBOL Copa América, Uruguay and Argentina dominate the table with 15 trophies each, followed by Brazil with 9, Peru, Paraguay and Chile with 2 conquests, while Bolivia and Colombia have won it once since the start of the tournament in 1916.


CONMEBOL Copa América 2024

The CONMEBOL Copa América 2024 will be played in the United States and includes 10 CONMEBOL teams and 6 CONCACAF guest teams. In this edition, this traditional tournament will be organized by both confederations.
The 6 Concacaf teams qualify through the Concacaf Nations League 2023/24. The already known representative teams from North, Central America and the Caribbean and from the United States.
Given their squad's depth, Brazil appears to be a serious contender this time around.

They will ultimately prevail this time.
Mexico started its Copa America 2024 campaign with a nervy 1-0 victory over fellow CONCACAF rivals Jamaica at the NRG Stadium in Huston on Sunday in the second match of Group B.


Uruguay puts away Panama 3-1 in Copa America, takes lead over USA in Group C​

Brazil began their Copa America campaign with a disappointing goalless draw against Costa Rica in Los Angeles.
The nine-time winners had 74% of possession and 19 shots but could not break through in their Group D opener.
Marquinhos had the ball in the net in the 30th minute after he tapped in at the back post following a Raphinha free-kick but the Video Assistant Referee ruled it out for offside.

Brazil boss Dorival Jr brought youngsters Endrick, who has signed for Real Madrid, and Savio off the bench but they could not find a winner.

Lucas Paqueta hit the woodwork just after the hour mark and spurned two late chances from good positions at the SoFi Stadium in Hollywood Park.

The West Ham United midfielder acknowledged his side must improve when they play Paraguay on Saturday (02:00 BST).
"We played a great game, we fought until the end, I had three chances myself, we were frustrated not to win, but we leave with confidence," Paqueta said.

"We played our game, we have to improve our finishing, myself in particular, so that we can win."
Costa Rica coach Gustavo Alfaro made a film analogy to emphasise how much his side had been written off before the match had started.

"We were Bruce Willis in 'The Sixth Sense', where the only one that did not know he was dead was him, right?" he said.
"Well, everyone thought we were dead before the movie started in our case."

James rolls back the years​

Colombia took the early initiative in Group D with a 2-1 win over Paraguay as attacking midfielder James Rodriguez produced an eye-catching performance.

The 32-year-old, who has played just a handful of minutes for Brazilian club Sao Paulo in the two months leading into the Copa America, had a hand in both of Colombia's goals.

Rodriguez flighted a pinpoint cross to the far post that picked out Daniel Munoz to head in Colombia's opener in the 32nd minute.

The former Real Madrid and Everton playmaker provided another assist just before half-time with a free-kick that was glanced in by Crystal Palace midfielder Jefferson Lerma.

Brighton's Julio Enciso pulled a goal back for Paraguay in the 69th minute with an angled volley but Colombia held on to claim the points.

Colombia play Costa Rica in their second group game on Friday (23:00 BST) before facing Brazil on 2 July.

Source: BBC
Late goal sends Argentina into Copa América quarters

Lionel Messi and Argentina took a 1-0 victory over Chile to punch their ticket to a 12th-straight Copa América quarterfinals.
Canada beats Peru 1-0 at on David goal, first win over South American team in 24 years

Jonathan David scored in the 74th minute, and Canada beat Peru 1-0 on Tuesday night in the Copa America for its first victory over a South American opponent in 24 years.

Peru played a man short after Miguel Araujo was given a red card in the 59th minute for a studs-up tackle on Jacob Shaffelburg, a call made after a video review.

Canada got its first win in four matches under Jesse Marsch, the American hired as coach last month, and beat a South American team for the first time since a 2-0 victory over Colombia in the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

David’s goal, his 27th for Canada, ended the national team’s 391-minute scoreless streak. Twenty-six of his goals have come in competitive matches.

The game was paused in first-half stoppage time when an assistant referee running on the non-shaded part of the stadium collapsed and needed medical attention. He got to his feet briefly and was taken off the field in a stretcher. He had been running down the line on the non-shaded part of the stadium.

Canada (1-1), in its first Copa America, rebounded from an opening 2-0 loss to defending champion Argentina, and Peru began with a 0-0 draw against Chile.

The Canadians close Group A on Saturday against Chile at Orlando, Florida, the same day Peru (0-1-1) faces Argentina at Miami Gardens, Florida. The top two teams advance to the quarterfinals.

Peru reached the semifinals in 2021 before losing to Brazil. It had failed to score in nine of its last 12 matches.

David scored after Cyle Larin made a long outlet pass to Shaffelburg, who crossed. David took two touches and beat goalkeeper Pedro Gallese from near the penalty spot, sending the ball in off the far post. David is two behind Larin, Canada’s career scoring leader.


Messi may skip Argentina's Copa America game v Peru to rest​

Lionel Messi may sit out Argentina's next Copa America game against Peru to rest a sore thigh with his team already qualified for the next round after two wins.

Messi, who turned 37 this week and has been suffering muscle niggles, required brief medical treatment on his thigh during Argentina's 1-0 victory over Chile at the U.S.-hosted tournament.

But he completed the 90 minutes, shaving the post with one long range shot and was at the heart of Argentina's attacks.

"It bothers me a bit, but I was able to stay on until the end. I hope it's nothing serious ... I wasn't able to move properly because of the bother," he said, acknowledging it might be wiser to sit out the Peru game on Saturday.

"Let's see how the next few days go, how I recover. We've taken an important step to qualify and be relaxed. It's a lot of games, a lot of travelling," added Messi, saying he had also suffered from a sore throat and fever before the Chile game.

With a 2-0 win over Canada also under their belt, world champions and tournament favourites Argentina are looking comfortable in the early stages of the Copa America even if not at their scintillating best.

They top Group A with six points, ahead of Canada on three after their victory over Peru.

Argentina are happy to have started the Copa with routine wins after the unwanted drama of their last major tournament when they opened the World Cup in Qatar with a 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia in one of the all-time shocks.

Venezuela advances in Copa América with upset

Mexico entered its second match of Copa América 2024 with a chance to advance to the quarterfinals, but instead, Venezuela pulled off a 1-0 upset over El Tri to win Group B and advance to the quarterfinals along with Argentina.

Mexico now faces Ecuador on Sunday in a do-or-die match with the final Group B spot in the knockout stage on the line. Mexico will have to win that match to avoid elimination.

Ecuador beats Jamaica to keep qualification hopes alive

Ecuador kept its hopes of qualifying for the Copa America quarterfinals alive with a 3-1 win over Jamaica in Las Vegas on Wednesday that left the ‘Reggae Boyz’ on the brink of elimination.

Ecuador went ahead in the 13th minute via a Jamaica own goal, when Piero Hincapie’s cross from the left was deflected off Kasey Palmer’s shin into the net.

The South Americans doubled the lead via a Kendry Paez penalty kick just before the interval after a handball by Gregory Leigh before Alan Minda killed off the contest in the 91st minute with a goal from a classic counter-attack.\

Jamaica halved the deficit shortly after halftime, scoring its first-ever Copa America goal following a corner. Ethan Pinnock’s effort was blocked by the Ecuador defence but the rebound fell to Michail Antonio, who rifled the ball into the net.

It thought it had earned a penalty in the 73rd minute when referee Cristian Garay was sent to the monitor to check for a possible handball by Alan Franco, but the referee decided not to award a spot kick.

The victory gave Ecuador its first points of the tournament, moving it level on three each with Mexico and Venezuela.

Jamaica lost its opener to Mexico and must now win its final group game against Venezuela to have any hope of advancing. It will be knocked out irrespective of that result if Mexico and Venezuela draw when they play later on Wednesday.

Facundo Pellistri 8'
Darwin Nunez 21'
Maximiliano Araujo 77'
Fede Valverde 81'
Rodrigo Bentancur 89'

Uruguay 5-0 Bolivia

That's 🔟 goals in his last seven games 🤩⚽
Uruguay routs Bolivia 5-0 as Núñez scores in 7th straight game

Darwin Núñez scored in his seventh straight international match, and Uruguay routed Bolivia 5-0 on Thursday night to move to verge of a quarterfinal berth in the Copa America.

Facundo Pellistri put the Uruguayans ahead in the eighth minute and Núñez doubled the lead in the 21st with his 10th goal in his last seven games for Uruguay and 13th in 25 matches overall.

Maximiliano Araújo scored his second goal of the tournament in the 77th, and Federico Valverde (81st) and Rodrigo Bentancur (89th) added goals as Uruguay romped through a ragged Bolivian defense.

Uruguay, seeking its record 16th Copa America title, is 2-0 for six points with a plus-seven goal difference and would advance with at least a draw on Monday against the U.S. at Kansas City, Missouri, or perhaps even a loss.

The U.S. has three points and plus-one goal difference and Panama three points and minus-one difference.

Bolivia has lost 14 consecutive Copa America matches dating to 2015 and has one win in its last 32. With no points and a minus-seven goal difference, it has almost no chance of advancing going into Monday’s match against Panama at Orlando, Florida.

Bolivia is likely to be eliminated in the group stage for fourth straight time.

MetLife Stadium’s upper deck was nearly empty and the site of the 2026 World Cup final appeared to be half full. Two years early, Lionel Messi and Argentina drew a sellout crowd of 81,106 for a 1-0 win over Chile.

Bolivia made six changes from its opening 2-0 loss to the U.S. and Uruguay quickly went ahead.

Nicolás de la Cruz played a long free kick down a flank and Ronald Araújo outjumped Luis Haquin to center a header. Mathías Olivera couldn’t reach it and the ball bounced before Pellistri nodded it in for his second international goal.

Núñez, who took seven shots in the first half, scored off a perfect weighed pass from Maximiliano Araújo on a quick counterattack. Maximiliano Araújo got his goal after Bolivia turned over the ball in midfield, fed by de la Cruz.

Panama stuns USA with upset to stay in contention for quarterfinals

Panama left the USA’s hopes of qualifying for the Copa America knockout rounds hanging by a thread on Thursday after scoring a shock 2-1 victory over the host nation.

A stormy Group C battle in Atlanta saw both sides finish with 10 men as Panama came from behind to snatch a victory which reignites its campaign after an opening loss to Uruguay.

The game turned on a moment of madness in the 18th minute, when US winger Timothy Weah was sent off for striking Panama defender Roderick Miller in the face in an off-the-ball incident spotted by VAR.

Although Folarin Balogun fired the US into the lead with a screamer from the edge of the area after 22 minutes, Panama got back on level terms only minutes later after Cesar Blackman’s strike.

As the game wore on, however, Panama’s one-man advantage began to take its toll on the weary US side.

With seven minutes remaining, Jose Fajardo swept in an emphatic finish to put Panama 2-1 ahead.

A fractious finale saw Adalberto Carrasquilla sent off after a cynical hack on US captain Christian Pulisic in the dying minutes as Panama hung on for the win.

The win means the USA may well need to beat South American heavyweights Uruguay in its final group game next Monday to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Argentinian journalist Leo Paradizo on Messi's Injury:

“As time passes, pessimism is growing based on what we are hearing and discovering regarding Leo Messi’s injury. I can tell you directly that Messi’s presence in the quarterfinals could be at risk”.

“He is not ruled out, but is at risk. Some even believe that playing him could risk worsening his injury, making it more severe, when he might be available for the semifinals instead”.

“Internally, this situation is impacting him emotionally. He is upset and frustrated about his adductor issue. He has been released and is currently at home. He will rejoin the group tomorrow afternoon”.

“I repeat, his presence is at risk, but I’m not ruling him out! He is not ruled out, and there are still several days to go. Anything can happen; he might recover, and he could even decide to play even if he’s not 100%”.

“Who would tell him no? So, let’s wait, but these are difficult days for him and the team”.
A Chile fan paid top whack for a digital billboard of Alexis Sanchez celebrating with the Copa America in front of all the Argentina fans at Times Square 😅
The USMNT will need to beat Uruguay if they want to advance to the quarterfinals of the Copa America 😬
The most big chances created at both the Euros and Copa América 2024:

🥇 Lionel Messi (6)

Just a reminder that he's 37 years old 🐐😳
Argentina seem to have an easy path. If they top the group, they should reach final.

I expect Argentina vs Brazil/Uruguay in the final.
🚨 Martin Arevalo: The studies conducted on Messi confirmed that there is nothing dangerous. He will work every day to try to prepare for the quarter-final match ✅

So, I guess he'll be available for the quarter final.
Argentina seem to have an easy path. If they top the group, they should reach final.

I expect Argentina vs Brazil/Uruguay in the final.
Messi injured.
He could be back for Quarters though, otherwise the team is still good to go without Messi.
Brazil bounces back with a win, eliminates Paraguay

Vinícius Junior scored two first-half goals to lead Brazil to a 4-1 victory over Paraguay on Friday night and put itself in position to advance out of Group D in the Copa America.

Savinho also scored a first-half goal for Brazil and Lucas Paqueta scored on a penalty kick in the second half. Omar Alderete scored Paraguay’s goal.

There were plenty of tense moments with five yellow cards and a red handed out. Andres Cubas was sent off for a red card in the 81st minute, forcing Paraguay to play the last part of the match down a man. Yellow cards were handed to Brazil’s Wendell, Junior and Paqueta and Paraguay’s Fabian Balbuena and Hernesto Caballero.

The victory was quite a response for the Seleção Canarinho, who opened the tournament Tuesday with a scoreless draw against Costa Rica despite outshooting their opponent 18-2.

With four points, Brazil is two behind group leader Colombia, which defeated Costa Rica 3-0 earlier Friday. A victory or tie by Brazil against Colombia on Tuesday ensures one of the group’s two spots in the knockout stage. Brazil also has a six-goal differential advantage over Costa Rica, so a loss likely won’t keep out the nine-time Copa America champions.

Brazil has had its difficulties against Paraguay in Copa America play, having drawn in their previous five meetings. That tied for the second-longest unbeaten streak against Brazil in this tournament, which Paraguay also was part of from 1963-83.

But Brazil won the most recent meeting, defeating Paraguay 4-0 two years ago in World Cup qualifying, and there was little doubt about the outcome of this match after two late goals broke it open in what was a contentious end to the first half.

Moments after teammate Bruno Guimaraes hit the crossbar, Savinho put Brazil up 2-0 in the 43rd minute.

Both teams got into a scrum in extra time, with Chilean referee Piero Maza Gomez handing yellow cards to Wendell and Balbuena at three-plus minutes. Then Junior delivered the crushing blow five minutes into extra time.

Paraguay had its chances and even outshot Brazil 8-5, including 4-3 on goal. Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker made a tremendous save diving to his right to prevent a goal from Damián Bobodilla 15 minutes into the match.

Early in the second half, however, Alderete scored to close the deficit to 3-1.

Then 17 minutes later, Paqueta made up for a missed penalty kick in the first half by converting to give back Brazil its three-goal lead.

Brazil coach Dorival Júnior made a bold and controversial move by deciding not to start Raphinha. The move, with national team legend Neymar watching from the stands, clearly paid off.

Raphinha was a late-game substitute, entering the match at the 72nd minute in place of Savinho.

Copa America 2024 final: Colombia 3, Costa Rica 0

Colombia has qualified for the Copa America quarterfinals with its 3-0 win over Costa Rica Friday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale. The South American team still has one match to play, against Brazil on Tuesday in Santa Clara, Calif.

Things could not have gone much better for Colombia, which dominated everywhere, from game stats to fans in the seats. Colombia is in a good spot to win Group D, and if that happens, the team returns to Glendale for the quarterfinals against either the U.S. or Panama, most likely.

Colombia head coach Nestor Lorenzo remained undefeated since being brought on two years ago to guide the team.

"We're a good team. But we also have good character. It's no miracle. They're good players," Lorenzo said after the game, in Spanish. "The quality of the players is what makes the difference. On the field they pressure, they stick to the game plan. ... Today was a game we dominated from start to finish."

Costa Rica head coach Gustavo Alfaro recognized the talent disparity.

"The other team was clearly on another level," Alfaro said in Spanish. "These losses hurt, no one likes to lose, especially 3-0, but we have to understand and learn how to get things done."

Militão against Paraguay:

- 87 minutes played
- 2 blocks
- 4 clearances
- 3 interceptions
- 3 recoveries
He was also exceptional against mexico and Costa Rica
🗣️ Viní Jr: "It is very difficult to play in these stadiums with the referees always AGAINST us. The way CONMEBOL treats Brazil is very complicated."
Neymar Jr:
"Ballon D'or Podium? Vini Jr. at no. 1, Bellingham and Rodrygo tied at no.2, and Mbappe at no.3."
Canada books quarterfinal berth in maiden campaign, Chile eliminated

Canada played out a goalless Copa America draw with 10-man Chile to claim second place in Group A and progress to the quarterfinals in its debut campaign. At the same time, the Chileans finished third to exit in the group stage for the first time since 2004.

The draw moved Canada to four points in Group A, five behind leader Argentina, which had already qualified for the quarterfinals. Two-time champions Chile ended with two points, and Peru finished bottom with one.

Chile, which needed to win and have other results go its way, had its uphill task made even harder after Gabriel Suazo was shown a second yellow card in the 27th minute for bringing down Richie Laryea.

In a game where chances were few and far between, Chile goalkeeper Gabriel Arias did well to keep out shots from Canada’s Stephen Eustaquio and Tajon Buchanan.

Canada stopper Maxime Crepeau made a smart save to deny an awkward deflected effort from Alexis Sanchez.

Canada thought it had taken the lead in the second minute of stoppage time through substitute Tani Oluwaseyi, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Argentina beats Peru to top Group A

Lautaro Martinez struck twice in the second half to help Argentina’s second string beat Peru 2-0 at the Copa America on Saturday and finish top of Group A, knocking Peru out of the tournament.

Argentina had already qualified for the quarter-finals before the match in Miami with wins over Canada and Chile, the other teams in the group.

That security allowed the defending champion to rest key players, including captain Lionel Messi, but despite making nine changes to its starting line-up, Argentina was largely untroubled by their opponents.

Martinez finished off a flowing move in the 47th minute, coolly chipping the ball over Peru keeper Pedro Gallese, and repeated the trick in the 86th minute, chipping Gallese again for his second goal after some sloppy defending by Peru.

“I went to hug Leo for everything he means to us,” Martínez said through an interpreter.

“Every time I wear this shirt I enjoy it,” Martínez said. “Many want to wear this shirt. I work to show the coach that I am ready to play when he needs me.”

Argentina had a gilt-edged chance to extend their lead when it was awarded a penalty for handball in the 72nd minute, but Leandro Paredes smashed his spot-kick off the post.

Argentina assistant Walter Samuel, who took suspended Lionel Scaloni’s place at the touchline, commented on Lionel Messi’s injury.

“I talked to him, and he’s getting better,” Samuel said through an interpreter, “but it’s been just a couple of days and it’s too early to tell. We want to continue to listen to him and the doctors.”

It will be joined in the knockout rounds by group runners-up Canada, who qualified for the last eight after holding Chile to a 0-0 draw in the other Group A match.

Lautaro Martinez in Copa America:


Played only 20 minutes in first 2 games🐂


Venezuela seal top spot in Copa Group B with win over Jamaica​

Venezuela hammered Jamaica 3-0 in Texas on Sunday to seal top spot in Group B and set up a Copa America quarter-final with Canada.

Goals from Eduard Bello and Salomon Rondon early in the second half, followed by a late strike from Eric Ramirez, ensured victory for the Venezuelan side.

Venezuela had already booked their spot in the last eight with wins over Ecuador and Mexico and needed just a point against already-eliminated Jamaica to clinch top spot and avoid defending champions Argentina in the next round.

Jamaica's best opportunity came in the 21st minute but Renaldo Cephas' diving header soared over.

Bello's powerful downward header put the South Americans in front in the 49th minute and Rondon doubled their lead seven minutes later with a scuffed effort past Jamaica keeper Jahmali Waite.

It was Rondon's 43rd international goal, extending his record as Venezuela's highest scorer.

Ramirez added Venezuela's third on the breakaway in the 85th minute, sending a right-footed shot under the advancing Waite after a well-timed pass from Kervin Andrade.

Venezuela were joined in the last eight by Group B runners-up Ecuador, who qualified thanks to their superior goal difference after holding Mexico 0-0 in the other match, with both teams tied on four points.



Ecuador reach Copa quarters, Mexico out after 0-0 draw​

Ecuador secured a place in the Copa América quarterfinals on Sunday after grinding out a 0-0 draw with Mexico, which bowed out of the tournament after finishing third in Group B.

Ecuador, who finished level with Mexico on four points but progress to the last eight thanks to a superior goal difference. will now play defending champions Argentina in the quarters, while group winners Venezuela, who beat Jamaica 3-0, take on Canada.

With the game almost over, Ecuador was whistled for a penalty for tripping in the area, but after a video review the call was overturned by head referee Mario Alberto Escobar Toca.

"I don't like to talk about our referee. It is what it is and I believe we have more possibilities now that we have VAR," Mexico coach Jaime Lozano said. "After an early exit, I don't want to talk about the referee."

In a physical first half, Mexico attacked with real intensity as they sought the win they needed, but lacked quality on the ball and failed to record a shot on target.

Lozano's side continued to push after the break, and Gerardo Arteaga was denied by a last-ditch tackle from Felix Torres, while Julian Quinones tested Ecuador's Alexander Dominguez with a long-range effort.

Mexico continued to throw bodies forward in their search of a winner and were awarded a penalty when Torres appeared to bring down Guillermo Martinez, but the decision was overturned after the referee consulted the pitchside monitor for a video review.

Mexico failed to get out of the group stage for the fourth time in its last five Copa América appearances, which could put coach Lozano's job in jeopardy. Mexico was also eliminated in the group stage of the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

Lozano also faced criticism after their 2-0 loss to the United States in the 2024 Concacaf Nations League final, and defeats in two recent friendlies, including a 4-0 thrashing by Uruguay.

When asked about his team's performance and his future as Mexico coach, Lozano said: "There were many players who had never played in a tournament like this, which is directly below the World Cup. Other players [who played] in the Cup didn't have the results of other games. But I believe the team has grown in many aspects. The decision is not up to me."

Ecuador, ahead 4-1 in goal differential, only needed a draw to reach the quarterfinals following a 3-1 win over Jamaica and a 2-1 loss to group leader Venezuela.

Mexico had a slight advantage in possession the first half (54%) and took seven shots, but continued its struggles with efficiency.

El Tri didn't have a shot on goal, and its best scoring chance came in the final minutes of the half, when Santiago Giménez sent a header over the crossbar.

Ecuador had the best chance of the half in the 19th minute, when Kendry Paez's shot to the near post on a free kick forced Julio González to make a save.

Mexico began ramping up the pressure early in the second half, creating more scoring opportunities.

Supporters of Mexico were irate when referee Toca didn't call a foul when Ecuador's Torres took down Arteaga in the penalty box, but the non-call was upheld on VAR. Santiago Giménez sent another header over the crossbar on the ensuing corner kick.

Host USA crashes out after loss to Uruguay

The United States was eliminated from the Copa America with a 1-0 loss to Uruguay on a Mathías Olivera’s questionable second-half goal on Monday night, a defeat that will increase pressure on the U.S. Soccer Federation to remove coach Gregg Berhalter before the 2026 World Cup.

Uruguay scored in the 66th minute when Nicolas De La Cruz swung a free kick in front of the U.S. goal. Matt Turner parried a header by Ronald Araújo, who outjumped defender Tim Ream, but the rebound went right to Mathias Olivera and he tapped the ball in with his left foot.

Olivera appeared to be offside on the initial header but the goal stood after a video review.

Using a lineup of players entirely from European clubs, Berhalter and the U.S. hoped to show the team had advanced since its round-of-16 elimination against the Netherlands at the 2026 World Cup.

While the US opened with a 2-0 win against lowly Bolivia, it was then upset 2-1 by Panama.

Three minutes before Uruguay scored, the U.S. was in position to advance when Bruno Miranda tied the score for Bolivia against Panama in a game that started simultaneously in Orlando, Florida. But Panama went on to a 3-1 victory and claimed the second spot in Group C behind Uruguay.

Berhalter was rehired in June 2023 and given a contract through the 2026, which the U.S. will co-host with Canada and Mexico. But despite a lineup that included Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, the U.S. failed to even match its last Copa America appearance, when it lost to Argentina in the 2016 quarterfinals.

The U.S. next plays September friendlies against Canada and New Zealand.

Uruguay played without coach Marcelo Biesla, suspended for sending his team out late for the second half of its first two games. Diego Reyes and Pablo Quiroga were in charge on a mild but humid night in Kansas City.

Berhalter and the Americans knew their situation was dire — Pulisic at one point said they would need to play “the best game of our lives” to advance — and they looked like a team with nothing to lose for most of the first half.

It was one marked by physical play and questionable calls.

Folarin Balogun, who had two goals already in the tournament, bore the brunt of several challenges.

He was left calling for help after a collision with Uruguayan goalkeeper Sergio Rochet, then was left rolling on the field after Araújo’s challenge later in the half.

Balogun eventually had to leave with a hip pointer and Ricardo Pepi took his place.

Uruguay lost Maximilliano Araújo earlier in the half after a scary collision with Ream near the U.S. goal. He had to be taken off the field on a stretcher, though he was able to move his arms before heading up the tunnel.

In the middle of the chaos was 32-year-old Peruvian referee Kevin Ortega, who made several questionable calls that hurt the U.S.

The first came when Ortega began to pull a yellow card and stop play, then allowed it to continue — while still holding the card — as Uruguay nearly scored on an attack.

The second came when the U.S. had a clear advantage after a hand ball on Uruguay, but the Peruvian referee eventually blew his whistle and called the play back for a free kick.

Uruguay started to apply more pressure midway through the second half, then had the Americans in desperation mode after Olivera found the back of the net. While the U.S. had a few good runs, and a couple of good opportunities in the box, a team that had such big expectations was unable to find the two goals it needed — or even one.

Panama beats Bolivia 3-1 to qualify for quarterfinals for the first time

Panama beat Bolivia 3-1 on Monday to finish second in Group C and qualify for the Copa America quarter-finals after tournament host United States was eliminated following a 1-0 loss to group winners Uruguay.

Panama are playing in only its second Copa America and the victory moved them up to second with six points, three points above the U.S., as the central American side reached the knockout stage for the first time.

Uruguay finished with nine points.

Bolivia needed a win with only a slim chance of staying alive in the tournament, but it was Panama who drew first blood when Jose Fajardo expertly controlled a header into the box, let it bounce and volleyed home in the 22nd minute.

Bolivia equalised in the 69th minute when it cut through Panama’s midfield and defence, with Ramiro Vaca finding Bruno Miranda, who slipped his shot past the keeper.

Panama wrested back control of qualification 10 minutes later when Eric Davis curled in a cross from the left and Eduardo Guerrero connected with a glancing header.

Panama scored again in added time when Cesar Yanis was put through on goal and he volleyed the ball into the top corner to give them a two-goal cushion, sparking wild celebrations at the Inter & Co Stadium.

Costa Rica beats Paraguay but exits as Colombia, Brazil advance

Costa Rica beat Paraguay 2-1 in its final Copa America Group D match on Tuesday but failed to move into the quarter-finals after finishing third following Brazil’s 1-1 draw with Colombia.

Colombia finished as group winners with seven points while Brazil also advanced as runners-up with five. Costa Rica returns home with four points while Paraguay exits after three losses.

Costa Rica needed results to go its way along with a big swing in goal difference to qualify and it wasted no time getting on the board when skipper Francisco Calvo and Josimar Alcocer made it 2-0 inside seven minutes.

Calvo headed home from the edge of the six-yard box in the third minute while 19-year-old Alcocer powered past several players before pulling the trigger from well outside the box to beat the keeper.

But Costa Rica’s hopes of qualifying dwindled 10 minutes into the second half when Mathias Villasanti dribbled into the box and set up Ramon Sosa, who blasted the ball into the top corner for his first goal for Paraguay.

Costa Rica nearly conceded again from a corner in added time but keeper Patrick Sequeira made a fingertip save to deny Paraguay an equaliser.

Brazil reaches quarterfinals after 1-1 draw against Colombia

Brazil played an action-packed 1-1 draw with Colombia in California on Tuesday to qualify for the Copa America quarterfinals.

Colombia, which finished top of Group D on seven points, faces Panama in the quarters while second-placed Brazil takes on Group C winner Uruguay.

A frantic first fifteen minutes at Levi’s Stadium saw Colombia go within inches of scoring after James Rodriguez hit the crossbar before Raphinha whipped a sublime free-kick into the top corner to give Brazil the lead in the 12th minute.

Colombia had a Davinson Sanchez goal disallowed for offside before striker Jhon Cordoba’s brilliant through ball was rifled into the net by Daniel Munoz to level the scores in first-half stoppage time.

Despite the searing California heat, neither side let the intensity drop after the break. Raphinha fired a free kick just wide, and Andreas Pereira tested Camilo Vargas with a long-range effort, but Colombia held on for the draw and stretched their unbeaten run to 26 matches.

There is no extra time in Copa America games will be decided on pens if drawn.
Messi doubtful for Argentina ahead of Copa America quarterfinal

Lionel Messi’s fitness remains in doubt ahead of Thursday’s Copa America quarterfinal with Ecuador with coach Lionel Scaloni saying he will wait before deciding on his team.

Messi missed Argentina’s final group stage match on Saturday, a 2-0 win over Peru, after complaining of a sore right hamstring.

Argentina will hold a training session later on Wednesday and Scaloni said he would make any decision afterwards.

“We’ll wait a couple of hours and make the decision. It is always better to have one more day,” he told a press conference.

“Yesterday we had good feelings and we’ll take this day to define the team based on the response we get today,” he added.

Scaloni said he would consult with Messi about his readiness for the game.

“We’ll try to get him in and then, if he’s not (ready), we’ll look for the best solution for the team. I’ll talk to him today. I think it’s fair that he takes his time and trains as much as possible,” he said.

With Canada eliminating Chile, job got even easier for Argentina. They should now reach final comfortably. It would require a massive upset for Argentina to not make it to final. Messi or no Messi.
Martinez saves Messi blushes as Argentina beats Ecuador on penalties to reach semis

Argentina beat Ecuador 4-2 on penalties to move into the semifinals of the Copa America on Thursday after goalkeeper Emi Martinez made two saves in the shootout following a 1-1 draw in regulation time.

The match went to penalties after Lisandro Martinez’s opener for Argentina was cancelled out by Kevin Rodriguez in stoppage time. There is no extra time in Copa America knockout games apart from the final.

In the shootout, Lionel Messi clipped the crossbar with Argentina’s first effort. However, Martinez saved from Angel Mena and Alan Minda as the defending champion moved into a semifinal match-up against either Venezuela or Canada.

Messi started the game despite being an injury doubt after missing Argentina’s final group match against Peru due to a hamstring issue, and the Albiceleste captain broke the record for most minutes played in the tournament’s history.

Argentina dominated possession early on, but it was Ecuador which created the first chance when Jeremy Sarmiento found space to shoot from a tight angle and forced Martinez into a save.

But as Argentina’s fans found their voice, their team took the lead in the 35th minute when Alexis Mac Allister’s headed flick-on found Martinez at the far post, and the defender nodded home his first international goal.

Ecuador turned up the pressure in the second half, and it paid off at a corner on the hour mark when the cross was deflected onto Rodrigo De Paul’s hand, and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.

Skipper Enner Valencia stepped up and sent Martinez the wrong way, but Ecuador’s top scorer saw his effort come off the post before Argentina defender Cristian Romero blocked a shot from the rebound.

Martinez turned to the crowd and roared in delight with his arms raised, and the miss took the wind out of Ecuador’s sails.

But as the game went into stoppage time Ecuador, which has never beaten Argentina at the Copa America, found the equaliser when John Yeboah whipped in a cross to Rodriguez, who stayed onside to direct a header past Martinez in the 91st minute.

The Argentina goalkeeper had the last laugh, however, making two crucial saves in the shootout before Nicolas Otamendi scored the decisive kick to book a semifinal spot.

Canada beats Venezuela on penalties to reach semis in maiden campaign

Ismael Koné scored in the sixth round of the shootout after a third save by Maxime Crépeau and Canada advanced to the semifinals of its first Copa America with a victory over Venezuela on Friday night.

The Canadians won 4-3 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw in the quarterfinals, keeping Venezuela from advancing to the Copa America semifinals for the first time since 2011.

Jacob Shaffelburg scored in the 13th minute for Canada before Salomón Rondón got the equalizer in the 64th minute for Venezuela.

The victory earned 48th-ranked Canada a rematch with Lionel Messi and Argentina, the world No. 1 and defending Copa America champion, on Tuesday night at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

Each team scored three times in the five rounds of the shootout, forcing the extra session.

After Canada’s Maxime Crépeau silenced the pro-Venezuelan crowd of 51,080 at the home of the Dallas Cowboys by stopping Jhonder Cádiz, Koné eased his shot past Rafael Romo for the win.

With 54th-ranked Venezuela trailing 1-0, Jon Aramburu sent a long pass from his own penalty box, leaving just Rondón and Moïse Bombito battling for the loose ball near midfield.

Just as Rondón gained possession, Crépeau realized he was too far out and sprinted toward his net. It was too late. Rondón’s lofted shot over the scrambling Crépeau bounced 2 yards in front of the net and in.

The Canadians were just the fourth team to advance out of Copa America group play after scoring one goal. It didn’t take long for them to match that in their first elimination game.

Shaffelburg scored on an assist from Jonathan David after David scored the previous goal in a 1-0 victory over Peru on a helper from Shaffelburg, who right-footed a pass from David between the right post and Rafael Romo.

After scoring, Schaffelburg held over his head the No. 17 jersey of Tajon Buchanan, who broke the tibia in his lower left leg in practice three days before the meeting with Venezuela.

Rondón had two early chances on headers turned away, and it wasn’t long after his goal that Shaffelburg took another dangerous shot from just inside the penalty box that Romo deflected away.

Before Rondón’s equalizer, Eduard Bello redirected a corner kick from across the toward the net, but the ball landed on top of the net after a leaping deflection from Crépeau.

Shaffelburg got a yellow card in the 36th minute for trying to return too quickly after going to the sideline when he was injured on a tackle.

He limped to the sideline and tried to come back before a free kick by Venezuela in Canada’s defensive end. He was sent back off, and Canada played down a man briefly before clearing the ball to midfield, allowing for his return.

The Argentina vs Canada encounter is set for the first Semi-Final in the Copa America 2024. Who will be the other 2 team?

Uruguay knocks Brazil out on penalties to reach semifinals

Manuel Ugarte scored the winning goal in the fifth round of the shootout and Uruguay advanced to the Copa America semifinals with a 4-2 penalty shootout victory over Brazil after the teams played to a scoreless draw Saturday night.

The teams combined for a tournament-high 41 fouls and just four shots on goal during a bruising, choppy match with little of the impressive football for which both South American powerhouses are known.

Uruguay’s Nahitan Nández was sent off after a red card in the 74th minute for a dangerous tackle on Rodrygo, but Brazil couldn’t break through its 10-man opponent in the ensuing 21 minutes.

Uruguay led 3-1 after three rounds of the shootout when goalkeeper Sergio Rochet stopped Eder Militao and Douglas Luiz hit the post. Alisson Becker saved Jose Maria Gimenez’s shot in the fourth round to keep Brazil alive, but Ugarte banged home the clincher.

After the third penalty shootout in four Copa America quarterfinal matches, Uruguay advanced to face Colombia in the semifinals on Wednesday night in Charlotte, North Carolina. Colombia routed Panama 5-0 earlier Saturday, extending its unbeaten streak to 27 consecutive matches.

Defending champion Argentina faces Canada in the other semifinal on Tuesday in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The final is on July 14 in Miami Gardens.

Brazil played without Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior, who watched from the stands under suspension after accumulating two yellow cards. The Selecao already are without Neymar, who hasn’t played since tearing a knee ligament last fall during Brazil’s loss to Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier.

That victory was Uruguay’s first over Brazil in 13 meetings since 2001, but famed coach Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay has now beaten Brazil in back-to-back matches for the first time since 1992.

Endrick made his first career start in place of Vinícius Júnior, but the 17-year-old phenomenon headed to Real Madrid later this month couldn’t shake Brazil from its offensive funk. Except for a 4-1 win over overmatched Paraguay, Brazil scored one combined goal in its other three Copa America matches — and the Seleção is headed home despite never trailing in the tournament.

Uruguay advanced to the Copa America semifinals for the first time since winning the tournament in 2011, and it knocked Brazil out of the tournament for the first time in four tries since 1995. La Celeste had been eliminated on penalty kicks following scoreless quarterfinal draws in each of the past two tournaments, but Bielsa’s club found a winning formula this time.

Uruguay got a strong performance from Rochet, who made three saves against Brazil after having to make only five total saves in Uruguay’s three group-stage victories.

Both teams played cautiously and contentiously from the start. During a stoppage in the 17th minute, Ronald Araujo shoulder-checked Endrick to the ground from behind while the teenager complained about an earlier non-call. Raphinha responded by knocking down Araújo, but order was restored.

Araujo, the oft-injured Barcelona defender, left the game with an apparent injury to his right leg in the 31st minute.

After 35 minutes with few scoring opportunities, the teams traded their best chances 35 seconds apart. Right after Darwin Nunez botched an unobstructed header deep in Brazil’s box, Raphinha was stopped at close range by Rochet.

Nandez, a 28-year-old veteran who recently left Cagliari for the Saudi Pro League, was sent off after a video review of his overzealous, straight-legged tackle on Rodrygo, whose right ankle buckled at contact.

Bielsa took off star Liverpool striker Nunez moments later, retreating into a defensive posture that got La Celeste to penalty kicks. Endrick created perhaps the strongest chance for Brazil in the 84th minute, but his shot was smothered by Rochet.

Colombia beats Panama to reach semifinals

Jhon Córdoba, James Rodríguez and Luis Díaz scored goals during a dominant first half to spark Colombia to a 5-0 win over Panama in the quarterfinals of the Copa America on Saturday.

Colombia will play in the semifinals on Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, against the winner of Uruguay-Brazil on Saturday.

Colombia — which came into Saturday on a 26-match unbeaten streak — wasted little time on No. 27 when Córdoba’s well-placed header in the eighth minute found the bottom corner of the net following a corner kick from Rodríguez.

Los Cafeteros pushed ahead 2-0 less than 10 minutes later on Rodríguez’s powerful penalty kick. Colombia was awarded the penalty after Panama goalie Orlando Mosquera tripped up Colombia’s Jhon Arias, who was sprinting to save the ball from going out of bounds near the post.

It was the 32-year-old Rodríguez’s 28th goal in international play.

Colombia made it 3-0 in the 41st minute when Díaz lobbed a shot over Mosquera, who had charged forward during the breakaway. The goal was set up by another good pass from Rodríguez.

Panama had a few decent chances to score in the first half, including a shot that bounced off the post before being swatted out of danger by Colombia goalie Camilo Vargas. But Los Canaleros could not make a dent in the lead.

Colombia scored its fourth goal in the 70th minute when Richard Ríos blasted a long right-footed shot past Mosquera into the bottom left corner of the net. The final goal came in stoppage time when Miguel Borja converted a penalty kick.

The heavily-favored Colombians enjoyed a huge home field advantage in front of announced crowd of 39,740 at State Farm Stadium, with most fans donning the team’s bright yellow jerseys. The stadium’s retractable roof was closed because of temperatures that hovered around 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 Celsius) outside.

Panama’s unexpected run to the quarterfinals included a 2-1 win over the United States during group play.

James Rodriguez could break Lionel Messi record as he lights up Copa America with Colombia

James Rodriguez is back as Colombia's Copa America jaunt reached the semi-final stage.

The former Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Everton relishes nothing more than a major international tournament.

James Rodriguez is back as Colombia's Copa America jaunt reached the semi-final stage.

The former Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Everton relishes nothing more than a major international tournament.

So, despite his recent spells out of the limelight with Al Rayyan, Olympiacos, and now with Sao Paulo, it's no surprise he's making a splash.

Colombia are now in the final four of the tournament after beating Panama 5-0 in the quarter-finals.

Rodriguez scored a penalty and claimed two assists in the clash.

His first contributed was a delightful corner headed home by Jhon Cordoba after eight minutes.

With just 15 minutes gone he then dispatched an excellent penalty after Jhon Arias had been felled in the box.

And then a superbly executed quick free-kick saw him put Liverpool star Luis Diaz in on goal and the forward lobbed the stranded Panamanian goalkeeper with ease to put Colombia 3-0 up by half-time.

After the victory over Panama he said: "I always try to help my teammates so that they can play well and I congratulate them for playing well.

He added, "We're all going through a good moment. We're doing goals from set pieces, from penalties and planned plays which is a good thing."

Some claim he has been the best player at the Copa America but Rodriguez was coy when asked about it.

He said: "There's still a lot of time. There's two games left with what we want to achieve and all I want to do is win, so there's a lot left."

Rodriguez had also got an assist in the 3-0 win over Costa Rica, and two in their 2-1 opening match win over Paraguay.

Ahead of Colombia's draw with Brazil, Rodriguez was praised by manager Nestor Lorenzo.

“Now he runs a little less, but he thinks a little more. It’s good for him. He’s well surrounded, and that’s what’s making him play well.”

In that game, Rodriguez hit the post and saw another assist ruled out due to the resulting goal being scored by an offside teammate.

Still, with just one more assist he would break Lionel Messi's record of five in one tournament, set in 2021.

And then he'd likely have an even stronger case for being Player of the Tournament.

Rodriguez burst onto the international scene at the 2014 World Cup with a stellar showing.

He scored one of the goals of the tournament and notched another five times to win the Golden Boot and made two assists.

Messi’s 109th goal helps defending champion Argentina reach final after beating Canada

Lionel Messi scored his 109th international goal and first of the tournament, helping defending champion Argentina beat Canada 2-0 on Tuesday night and into the Copa America final.

Julian Alvarez put the Albiceleste ahead in the 22nd minute and Messi redirected Enzo Fernandez’s shot off the face of goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau in the 51st.

Messi has 28 goals in his last 25 matches for Argentina and 14 in Copa America play, three shy of the record.

Only Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo with 130 has more international goals than Messi, who turned 37 on June 24. Iran’s Al Daei had 108 from 1993 to 2006.

With a victory on its independence day, Argentina extended its unbeaten streak to 10 games. The Albiceleste seek a record 16th Copa title when they play Uruguay or Colombia on Sunday at Miami Gardens, Florida.

Trying to string together championships in consecutive Copa Americas around the 2022 World Cup, Argentina is trying to match the feat of Spain when La Roja won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships along with the 2010 World Cup.

Argentina fans gathered in Times Square on the eve of the match and filled the streets of Manhattan before heading to MetLife Stadium, the site of the 2026 World Cup final. The crowd of 80,102 on a night with an 82-degree temperature and 82% humidity was overwhelmingly pro-Argentina, with only a few sections dominated by red-clad Canadian supporters.

It was among the biggest games for Canadian football, which went 0-6 in its only World Cup appearances in 1986 and 2022 and won its only major title at the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Argentina had beaten Canada 2-0 in the tournament opener on June 20.

Canada star Alphonso Davies limped off after his right leg was caught in a clean challenge with Gonzalo Montiel and he was replaced in the 71st minute.

Making his 38th Copa America appearance, Messi had missed Argentina’s group stage finale with a leg injury and was subdued while playing 90 minutes in the quarterfinal win over Ecuador.

He was just wide from the top of the penalty area in the 12th minute after exchanging passes with Angel Di Maria, then wide again in the 44th and put a chip over the crossbar in first-half injury time.

MetLife’s temporary grass surface appeared heavy, with water splashing and sand popping up during dribbles.

Argentina went ahead after Rodrigo De Paul from the centre circle played a long pass to Alvarez, who took a touch at the top of the arc to control the ball from Moise Bombito. Alvarez took another touch to create space from Bombito and from near the penalty spot, slipped the ball between the legs of Crepeau for his ninth goal in 35 international appearances.

Messi scored following a throw-in. He sent the ball to De Paul, who ran to the end line and cut the ball back. Kone’s attempted clearance went to Fernandez, who teed up a shot, that Messi redirected from just inside the 6-yard box.

Jonathan David was thwarted by Emiliano Martínez from close range in first-half stoppage time, and Martínez made a kick save on Tani Oluwaseyi in the 80th.

Colombia beats Uruguay 1-0 and will face Lionel Messi and Argentina in final

Jefferson Lerma scored in the 39th minute and Colombia played a man short the entire second half in a 1-0 win over Uruguay on Wednesday night to reach the Copa America final against Lionel Messi and Argentina, which is seeking a record 16th Copa America title and is looking to join Spain as the only country to win three straight major titles.

Daniel Munoz was ejected in first-half stoppage time for his second yellow card, but Colombia held on to reach the final for the first time since winning its only Copa title as host in 2001.

Colombia extended its unbeaten streak to a team record 28 games, one more than from 1992-94 and the longest current streak in men’s football.

In a contentious match that included seven yellow cards and one red, players from both teams pushed and shoved in a scrum on the field at the final whistle and some players went into the stands to scrap with fans.

Defending champion Argentina and Colombia meet Sunday night at Miami Gardens, Florida.

Before an overwhelmingly pro-Colombia crowd at Bank of America Stadium, filled with yellow jerseys and flags, Uruguay fell behind for the first time in the tournament.

James Rodriguez’s corner kick was headed in from short range by Lerma, who outjumped Jose Maria Gimenez for his third international goal and second of the tournament. Rodriguez has six assists in the tournament -- triple the total of any other player.

Munoz received his first yellow card from Mexican referee Cesar Ramos in the 31st minute for a reckless slide tackle on Maximiliano Araujo and his second for elbowing Manuel Ugarte in the stomach.

Rodriguez was given a yellow card in the 55th minute for arguing with Ramos when the referee failed to stop play when Richard Rios was kicked on a shin by Darwin Nunez.

Rios was removed on a stretcher, re-entered the match, then went down in another challenge and was substituted in the 62nd minute. Rodriguez was removed at the same time to keep him eligible for the final.

Colombia goalkeeper Camilo Vargas didn’t have to make his first save until he stopped Nicolas de la Cruz in the 68th minute.

Luis Suarez, Uruguay’s career leader with 68 goals, entered in the 66th minute and hit the outside of a post with a shot in the 71st.

Colombia’s Mateus Uribe, another second-half sub, put an open shot wide in the 88th, and Uribe’s open shot in the fourth minute of stoppage time ricocheted off the body of sliding goalkeeper Sergio Rochet and then the crossbar.

The match was played in 90-degree heat on a surface that was converted from artificial turf to grass in the weeks leading up to the game.