The 2021 Copa America final is all set as Argentina seals its place after beating Colombia 1-1 (3-2) on penalties following a 1-1 draw in their semi-final in Brasilia. Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved three penalties in the shoot-out to help Argentina reach the final round. Earlier this week, the reigning champions and hosts Brazil advanced in the final following a 1-0 win against Peru.
Martinez made an impressive save from Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina and Edwin Cardona, while Lionel Messi, Leandro Paredes and Lautaro Martinez all scored from the spot to put Argentina through to the title decider. “I’m speechless,” said Argentine keeper Martinez. “They took us to penalties and that’s a question of luck, today it was my turn for glory.” Follow us for more online sports betting tips and odds.
Argentina had taken the lead after six minutes through Messi’s superb pass to Lautaro Martinez before Colombia’s Luis Diaz equalized after the hour. In tears, Martinez said after the match he wanted to face the Brazilians in the final in the Maracana Stadium. “It is a great team, the favorite. But we have a great coach, we have the best player in the world and we will try to win it,” he added.
“We have Emi, who is a phenomenon,” said Messi, talking about Martinez’ saves. “We achieved the goal of being able to play all the games and now we are going to the final.” Head coach Lionel Scaloni was also happy about the performance. “We are very happy with Emiliano’s performance, not only because of the penalties, but also because of the security that he is transmitting,” he said.
Argentina is seeking to win its first major international title since lifting the Copa America in 1993. They are now unbeaten in 19 games, with its last loss coming to Brazil in the semi-final of the 2019 Copa America. It is also learnt that Argentina is the last team to beat Brazil, in November 2019 when Messi netted the only goal of the game in a friendly in Saudi Arabia.
A first-half goal from Lucas Paqueta, who also scored the winner in their 1-0 quarter-final win over Chile, helped Brazil advance in the final round earlier this week. Two years ago a Brazil team missing the injured Neymar knocked out Argentina in the semi-finals before winning their ninth Copa title on home soil. Brazil, which beat Peru to win the 2019 Copa America, is now looking for a 10th continental title.
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