Copa América: Late strike seals victory for Argentina as Canada secures historic win | Copa America

Lautaro Martínez scored on a rebound in the 88th minute, giving defending champion Argentina and Lionel Messi a 1-0 victory over Chile on Tuesday night, securing a place in the Copa América quarterfinals.

Messi’s corner led to a shot that was blocked by Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, and Martínez was on hand to score his second goal of the tournament on Argentina’s 21st shot of the match. The players stood and waited for three minutes while the goal, Martínez’s 26th for his country, was confirmed via video.

Playing a day after his 37th birthday, Messi often displayed his talent by slaloming through defenders in front of an adoring crowd of 81,106 at MetLife Stadium, which will host the 2026 World Cup final. Argentina managed 21 shots to three for Chile and Chile did not have its first attempt on goal until the 72nd minute.

Messi came closest to scoring before Martínez’s goal, with a 30-yard strike that hit the post in the 36th minute. Messi had been receiving treatment on his right thigh for almost two minutes after being hit by Gabriel Suazo in the 24th minute. Nicolás González’s shot from another Messi pass in the 62nd minute was palmed off the crossbar by Bravo.

Chile had a dangerous period towards the end of the match. Rodrigo Echeverría’s effort in the 72nd minute was saved by Emiliano Martínez, and the goalkeeper was forced into a diving save on Echeverría’s shot in the 76th.

On the 46th anniversary of Argentina’s first World Cup, the teams returned to the stadium where Chile defeated Argentina on penalties in the 2016 Copa América final. This defeat prompted Messi to announce his international retirement only to reverse his decision seven weeks later.

The vast majority of fans at MetLife on Tuesday wore Argentina jerseys, most bearing Messi’s name and the number 10.

Jonathan David’s goal made the difference between Canada and Peru. Photograph: Jay Biggerstaff/USA Today Sports

In Tuesday’s other game, Jonathan David scored in the 74th minute and Canada beat Peru 1-0 for its first win over a South American opponent in 24 years. Peru was the better team until it was forced to play a man short after Miguel Araujo was red carded in the 59th minute for a tackle on Jacob Shaffelburg.

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

Speaking to reporters after the game, Marsch said his team was “talking about wanting to make a big statement, wanting to make history and show that we’re ready for bigger challenges.”

He continued: “At the end of the day, with Peru’s know-how, with Peru’s experience, to manage the whole match appropriately and keep our discipline and not cross the line, not put ourselves in danger bad cards and fouls, it showed a level of maturity I’m really happy for them I’m really proud of them.

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

The match was interrupted during first-half stoppage time when an assistant referee directing the line in the unshaded part of the stadium collapsed and required medical attention. The match took place in sweltering heat in Kansas City, with temperatures peaking at 32°C (90°F).

Canada, in its first Copa América, bounced back from a 2-0 loss to Argentina, and Peru opened with a 0-0 draw against Chile.

David scored on a cross from Shaffelburg. David took two touches and beat goalkeeper Pedro Gallese near the penalty spot, sending the ball to the far post. Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau made a diving save in second-half injury time and then took a free kick.

“In the first half we challenged Canada more than Argentina did (in the tournament’s opening match),” Peruvian coach Jorge Fossati said. “And I’m talking about Argentina, current world champion. We created more opportunities than against Chile. I think I can say that we created a superb 60 minute match.

Argentina leads Group A with six points, followed by Canada with three, and Chile and Peru with one each. The Albiceleste will finish the first round against Peru at Miami Gardens on Saturday, while Canada will meet Chile in Orlando.

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