Copa America 2024: Messi, Alvarez and Lautaro combine as Argentina beats Canada 2-0 in opener

Defending champion Argentina beats Canada 2-0 in the opening match of the Copa America 2024 in Atlanta on Friday with forwards Julian Alvarez and Lautaro Martinez scoring second-half goals to seal the victory.

Julian Alvarez and Lautaro Martinez scored as Argentina opened its Copa America 2024 campaign with a 1-0 win over Canada, at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, United Stated of America.

Canada timed its pressing to perfection to fashion a few chances in the first half, though it was Argentina which went closest to scoring through Angel di Maria but he squandered a golden opportunity after a driving run from his own half.

AS IT HAPPENED | Argentina vs Canada, Copa America 2024 Highlights

Lionel Scaloni’s side made the breakthrough four minutes after the restart as Lionel Messi played a sublime pass to Alexis Mac Allister, who poked it away from advancing Canada goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau and into the path of Alvarez for a simple finish.

Canada pushed hard after going behind but the introduction of veteran centre-back Nicolas Otamendi gave Argentina some much-needed stability at the back, before substitute Martinez slotted in from a Messi pass in the 88th minute to wrap up the win.

Lionel Messi was at the centre of both goals, creating the first, with Alexis Mac Allister, and setting up Lautaro later in the second half as La Albiceleste cruised to a comfortable victory in its bid for title defence.

– With inputs from Reuters

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