Argentina to play Brazil in the Copa América final

Argentina to play Brazil in the Copa América final

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The semi-final versus Columbia was decided with a penalty shoot-out

Argentina will play the 47th Copa América final against Brazil this weekend, going through 3-2 on penalties after playing out a 1-1 draw with Colombia on Tuesday night. They will be looking to lift their fifteenth Copa América trophy on Saturday in the Maracaña Stadium, eighteen years after they picked up their last one, when they beat Ecuador in the 1993 final. Colombia, meanwhile, will play against Peru in the third-placed playoff match in Brasilia this Friday.

The goals in the Mané Garrincha Stadium were scored by Lautaro Martínez in the 7th minute and Luis Díaz in the 61st minute.

Argentina had their first chance in the fourth minute, with a header from Nicolás González that went past the post. They soon found themselves ahead in the match with a goal from Lautaro Martínez, on the receiving end of a pass from Lionel Messi. With this goal, Messi picked up his fifth assist of the tournament, with Lautaro Martínez getting on the scoresheet for the third time. In the 7th minute, Rodrigo de Paul found Tottenham midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, who slid a ball through the defence to find the run of Lionel Messi. With his back to goal and marked closely by Yerry Mina, Messi was able to find Martínez in the box for the opener.

Colombia responded two minutes later with a fierce left-footed strike from Juan Cuadrado, which was saved by Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez. They came close again in the 37th minute, when Wilmar Barrios struck the post from distance. Yerry Mina also came close to levelling the game in the 38th minute, hitting the crossbar with a header.

Argentina managed to break free from the Colombian onslaught in the 43rd minute with a downwards header by González following a Messi cross, which was pushed out for a corner by goalkeeper Ospina. During this move, the Venezuelan referee Jesús Valenzuela called for a VAR check for a possible penalty in favour of Argentina, but this was ruled out by the video referee.

The Colombian manager Reinaldo Rueda really went for it in the second half, bringing on Frank Fabra, Edwin Cardona and Yimmi Chará for William Tesillo, Rafael Borré and Gustavo Cuéllar, respectively. Then, at 60 minutes, Miguel Borja was also brought on to replace Duván Zapata. These changes worked a treat, with Luis Díaz getting on the end of a long pass in the left-hand side of the box in the 61st minute, tucking the ball away from a tight angle as he fell to bring the game level.

Despite being affected by the equaliser, Argentina started to attack again. Colombia's Barrios blocked a goal-bound shot on the line in the 73rd minute, before Messi struck the post in the 81st.

With the game at 1-1 after normal time, Argentina won the penalty shoot-out 3-2 to book their place in the final.

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