Argentina Kicks Off Copa America Title Defense With a 2-0 Victory Over Canada, Despite a Challenging Pitch, Led by Messi’s Stellar Performance

Copa America Match (Copa America)

Lionel Messi’s exceptional passing skills led Argentina to a 2-0 victory over Canada in their Copa America title defense opener, despite a subpar playing surface at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Messi’s through ball set up Julián Álvarez’s goal in the 49th minute, and he assisted Lautaro Martínez’s score in the 88th minute. Argentina, seeking its third consecutive major title, overcame a challenging first half to outshoot Canada 12-3 in the second.

Messi and Argentina overcome Canada (Copa America)

The poor playing surface drew criticism from both teams, with coach Lionel Scaloni and goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez calling it a “disaster” and “a springboard” that hindered gameplay.

Messi, who made his 35th Copa America appearance, a new record, said, “It was physically intense… we had patience to retain possession of the ball, and it was hard to find the good open spaces.”

Despite the challenges, Messi’s brilliance shone through, as he created scoring opportunities and led his team to a hard-fought win. His exceptional vision and passing ability were on full display, as he consistently found his teammates with precision passes. Messi’s performance was a testament to his enduring quality, even at 37 years old.

The victory sets Argentina up for a strong start in their title defense, with upcoming matches against Chile and Peru. As they cross the tournament, Argentina will rely on Messi’s leadership and skill to guide them to success. With his record-breaking appearance and assist, Messi cemented his status as one of the greatest players in Copa America history.