Messi Orchestrates Argentina’s Title Defense Opener with Two Assists in 2-0 Victory over Canada

Lionel Messi, the ageless maestro, proved he’s still the king of creation as he orchestrated Argentina’s 2-0 victory over Canada in their Copa America title defense opener on Thursday night. Playing on a less-than-ideal surface at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Messi’s vision and passing were the difference for Argentina.

Messi Pulls the Strings

While Messi himself didn’t find the net, his influence on the game was undeniable. In the 49th minute, his perfectly weighted through ball split the Canadian defense, finding Julián Álvarez for a tap-in. The assist showcased Messi’s trademark ability to unlock defenses with a single pass.

Doubling Down

Messi wasn’t done there. In the 88th minute, with the game still hanging in the balance, he rolled another inch-perfect pass, this time finding substitute Lautaro Martínez who slotted the ball home to secure the win. This extended Messi’s Copa America record for most assists.

Argentina’s Patience Rewarded

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni acknowledged the challenging pitch but praised his team’s patience in breaking down Canada’s defense. “It was hard to find the good open spaces,” Messi said through a translator after the match, “but we had the patience to retain possession of the ball.”

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This victory puts Argentina in a strong position in Group A. They’ll look to continue their winning ways when they take on Chile on Tuesday in East Rutherford, New Jersey, before closing out the group stage against Peru on June 29th in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Messi’s Quest for More Glory

At 37 (he turns 37 on Monday), Messi shows no signs of slowing down. With Argentina seeking their third straight major title after winning the 2021 Copa America and the 2022 World Cup, Messi’s leadership and playmaking skills will be crucial in their quest for glory.

DISCLAIMER: This team is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.

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