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ATLANTA, GEORGIA, USA (SMI-GLOBAL-SPORTS-JUNE 20-JULY 14, 2024)-The 2024-48th edition of the Copa-America soccer championship kicked-off Today June 20, with Top-ranked(World#1) Argentina defeating Canada 2-0, in the opening match, obtaining the first 3-points in Group A, and during a Thursday's evening soldout match of 75,000 fans in attendance @ Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Argentina, who just won the World Cup 2022 in Qatar and is one of the favorite alongside Uruguay and Brazil to win the 2024 Copa-America crown had a slow start offensively in the first half due to Canada solid and tight man-to man coverage defensively that unable the Argentinians to score with the half ending scoreless.

In the second half, Argentina went to the offensive from the start and in the second counter-attack through the right-side field corner, Messi squeezed a rolling pass inside the 18' to midfielder Alexis Mac Allister who collided with Canada's goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau with the ball deflecting to Julian Alvarez who scored with a right footed to put the Albiceleste 1-0, in front at 48' mark.

Argentina kept the offensive pressure and Messi in two consecutive counter-attack
by himself inside the 18' had the chance to score but Goalkeeper Crepeau blocked the shot for a save (64') and the other he tried to flick over but shot wide barely missing the back of the net at 74' mark.

With the game clock winding down, Argentina once again in another counter-attack through the left-side field corner Giovani Lo Celso gave it to Messi who immediately kicked a rolling pass inside the box to Lautaro Martinez who scored the second goal for the Albiceleste at 88' and sealed the win of 2-0, over Canada.

Lionel Messi made history playing this game as he became the only player with most appearances with 35 to play in the Copa America tournament. He surpassed  the Chilean goalkeeper Sergio Livingstone, who had set the record in 1953.

Article Written & Photo by Marcello Cutti II /Starlight Illustrated 


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