Emiliano Martinez was the hero for Argentina as he saved three times in a shot to take his team to a Copa America final match against Brazil after Tuesday’s semi-final against Colombia ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Martinez, who tried to distract Colombian players from shooting with a garbage barrier, was rescued by Davinson Sanchez, Gary Mina and Edwin Cardana.
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Lionel Messi, Leandro Paredes and Lautaro Martinez scored for Argentina as they took a stand against the host country in Saturday’s final at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
“I am speechless,” said Argentine guard Martinez. “We were sanctioned and that is a matter of luck, today it was my turn for glory.”
Both sides had chances to win in an intense match from end to end, with 46 fouls and 10 yellow cards.
Argentina are aiming to win their first major international title since winning the Copa America in 1993 and once again Lionel Messi was the protagonist, scoring the tournament’s fifth aid to add to his four goals.
Taking a nice pass from Giovani Lo Celso after six minutes, Messi threw the ball to Lautaro Martinez to take a low shot at the goal, and gave Argentina the lead.
Colombia found his feet shortly afterwards and hit the carpentry twice in a minute towards the end of the first half when Wilmar Barrio’s deflection hit the post and then Mina watched his head hit the line from the resulting corner. .
Their equalizer came at the sign of the hour when Luis Diaz finished from a tight angle to complete a surprise counterattack.
Argentina is now unbeaten in 19 games, with its last defeat coming to Brazil in the semifinals of the Copa America 2019. It was also the last team to beat Brazil in November 2019, when Messi scored the only goal of the match in a friendly in Saudi Arabia.
Since then, Brazil, which beat Peru 1-0 on Monday to reach the final, has won 12 and drawn.