Lionel Messi, Argentina Out of 2019 Copa America After Semifinal Loss vs. Brazil

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2019

Brazil's Dani Alves, top, jumps on top of his teammates after teammate Gabriel Jesus scored their team's first goal against Argentina during a Copa America semifinal soccer match at Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Eugenio Savio)
Eugenio Savio/Associated Press

Brazil has earned a spot in the Copa America final after a 2-0 win over Argentina in Tuesday's semifinal.

Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino each had a goal and an assist in the win, while Alisson kept his fifth straight clean sheet of the tournament.

The loss not only eliminates Argentina but also keeps Lionel Messi without a trophy in his international career. The squad lost in the final in each of the last two versions of the South American championship in 2015 and 2016.

Messi was especially disappointing in this tournament as Argentina only earned two wins in five matches:

The squad gave itself many chances in this one, taking 14 shots compared to just four from Brazil. Unfortunately, the team wasn't able to turn that into goals against a tough defense.

Meanwhile, Brazil took advantage of nearly every opportunity.

Firmino set up Jesus on a perfect ground cross to take the 1-0 lead in the first half:

The situation was reversed in the 71st minute, as a great individual effort from Jesus led to an easy goal for Firmino:

That was all the offense needed for La Selecao, which now have a chance to win the Copa America title in front of their home fans at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil has been inconsistent offensively in this tournament, but there is more than enough talent to bring home a championship.

     

What's Next?

Brazil will face the winner of Chile and Peru in the Copa America final on Sunday.

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