Lionel Messi’s Argentina will face Brazil in the Copa America final after overcoming Colombia in a dramatic penalty shoot-out thanks to Emiliano Martinez.
With no extra time, penalties were needed after Luis Diaz equalised in the 61st-minute to cancel out Lautaro Martinez’s first-half opener in Brasilia on Tuesday.
Emiliano Martinez was the hero in the shoot-out after the Argentina goalkeeper saved three spot-kicks to send the 14-time Copa winners – eyeing their first major title since 1993 – through to Sunday’s blockbuster decider against defending champions Brazil.
Messi, who is craving his first senior crown with La Albiceleste, was brilliant from the outset, the superstar dancing past three players before picking out Lautaro Martinez, but the latter’s header sailed just wide of the post in the fourth minute.
Martinez got his goal three minutes later, however, after drilling home past David Ospina – Messi with the presence of mind to twist away from Yerry Mina before lifting his head and finding the Inter star.
Colombia almost celebrated an immediate response, though Emiliano Martinez was on hand to deny Juan Cuadrado – earning his 100th cap – just moments later.
As has so often been the case during the tournament, Argentina fell away following a bright start and Colombia were unfortunate not to equalise.
¡Qué locuraaaaaa, Dibuuuuuu!
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