Copa America 2024: Lionel Messi Wastes Glorious Chances For Argentina Against Canada

Copa America 2024: Lionel Messi Wastes Glorious Chances For Argentina Against Canada

Isaac Darko
updated at June 21, 2024 at 4:06 AM
  • It wasn't easy for the defending champions, but Argentina were able to survive a slight scare to kick off the 2024 Copa America
  • Two goals from Julian Alvarez and Lautaro Martínez were enough to hand the South American powerhouse a 2-0 victory over Canada
  • Lionel Messi wasted two big chances in the second half against Canada as the Argentina star spurned golden scoring opportunities

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Lionel Messi proved he's human when he missed a simple one-on-one chance on two occasions against Canada on Friday.

Argentina began their defense of the Copa America title against the North American giants at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Canada, making their Copa America debut, earned their spot in the tournament by winning a playoff against Trinidad and Tobago, joining five other CONCACAF teams in the competition.

Lionel Messi, Maxime Crepeau, Canada, Argentina, Copa America 2024.
Lionel Messi battles for the ball against Canada goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau during their Copa America clash at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on June 20, 2024. Photo by Omar Vega.
Source: Getty Images

The first half ended goalless, with La Albiceleste breaking the deadlock early in the second half through a link-up between Liverpool’s Alexis Mac Allister and Manchester City’s Julián Álvarez, per the Guardian.

Despite Canada managing to contain Argentina’s powerful attack for the first 45 minutes and even creating more dangerous opportunities than the reigning FIFA World Cup champions, the breakthrough came after the interval.

Mac Allister's timely pass to Álvarez, who scored as the goalkeeper advanced, put Argentina ahead 1-0.

Messi misses two glorious chances vs Canada

In videos shared on social media, Messi then missed two clear chances to extend the lead.

With Canada pushing for an equaliser, Argentina had opportunities to seal the game, but the Argentine maestro failed to capitalise.

In the 64th minute, goalkeeper Emi Martinez launched a quick counterattack with a long ball to the Inter Miami star.

Although Messi's first shot was blocked by the Canadian keeper, the rebound fell to him, but he missed the simple tap-in.

Fifteen minutes later, the World Cup winner had another golden chance when he was set up by a teammate, but his daring chip shot narrowly missed the post.

How Argentina defeated Canada

World champions Argentina opened their bid for back-to-back Copa America titles with a 2-0 win over Canada in front of a crowd of 70,564, Sports Brief also reported.

Julian Alvarez put Argentina ahead in the 49th minute but a combination of inspired goalkeeping from Canada's Max Crepeau and Lionel Messi's surprising lack of precision in front of goal ensured that the underdogs were in the game until Lautaro Martinez settled the contest in the 88th minute.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)