USA 0-0 0
Argentina 2-2 4
It didn’t go well for USA Tuesday night, but it went about as expected.
Argentina thoroughly dominated USMNT in the Copa America semifinal, scoring three minutes after kickoff and never relenting. The scoring was highlighted by a magical free kick from Lionel Messi, who notched his 58th goal with Argentina to make him the most prolific scorer in his country’s history.
Playing without three key starters, USA struggled with possession. They never really tested Argentina’s Romero, even after subbing on Christian Pulisic and Darlington Nagbe. Had they been at full-strength, it doesn’t seem likely the result would be much different.
Argentina advance to the Copa America final in New Jersey, chasing their first major tournament trophy in 23 years. They reached the final in 2015, only to fall to host nation Chile in a penalty shootout.
Scroll down for full match highlights:
Messi Sets up Higuain For Easy Fourth Goal
A final nail in the coffin for Argentina, who looked comfortable from the first minute and rightfully so. Messi has a decent chance in front of Guzan, but opts instead to slide it across the goal to Higuain for the easy finish. There’s no shame in going out to this team.
Lavezzi is Injured After Flipping Over Sideline Boundary
Argentina are on pace to return to the Copa America finals, but it’s unclear if they will have Ezequiel Lavezzi in that lineup. The winger currently playing club football in China back up too far to cover a header, and appeared to injure his arm on the fall.
Argentina have a deep bench, but Lavezzi will likely be unavailable against either Colombia or Chile.
Higuain Beats Brooks to Extend Argentina’s Lead
After a USA turnover in the midfield, Argentina waste no time on the counter. Higuain’s first attempt was saved, but the Napoli striker put the rebound past the scrambling keeper.
Messi Stuns NRG Stadium With This Brilliant Free Kick
You couldn’t run to goal and place it in a better spot. Messi goes far post over the wall and Guzan, putting Argentina ahead 2-0.
Argentina Dominate Early & Lavezzi Strikes First
After punting away the opening kickoff, USA struggled to challenge for possession. They broke after a short corner, when Lavezzi was untouched on a lofted pass and easily put the ball past Guzan. Worst possible start for USA.
Wondo, Beckerman & Zusi Replace Suspended Players
As kickoff starts in Houston, this sums up tonight’s pre-match analysis. Fans are hyped, pundits are cautious. But the energy is high at NRG Stadium.