Canada Faces Goliath Argentina in Copa America Semifinal

Canada is gearing up for a monumental Copa America semifinal showdown against Argentina on Tuesday, a matchup that coach Jesse Marsch has aptly described as a David vs Goliath battle. Argentina, the reigning World Cup champion and top-ranked team in the FIFA rankings, poses a formidable challenge to Canada, who sits at 48th in the world and is making their debut in the tournament.

“They’ve only lost twice in five years,” Marsch said of Argentina. “(Lionel) Messi is the best player to ever play the game. But we believe we have a chance and that’s the way we’re preparing.” Despite losing 2-0 to Argentina in their opening match on June 20, where Messi orchestrated both goals for Julian Alvarez and Lautaro Martinez, Canada remains optimistic after securing their semifinal berth through a penalty shootout win against Venezuela.

“We know how good Argentina is because we played against them but we also had success in certain moments,” Marsch told reporters. “I said after the (Venezuela) match that we probably have to play a perfect match and maybe even then it may not be enough.” While Canada has gained valuable insight into Argentina’s game from their initial group stage encounter, Marsch anticipates an even more intense performance from Messi and his team in the semifinals.

Messi, who has been nursing a muscle injury, played the full 90 minutes in Argentina’s quarterfinal shootout win over Ecuador. “He’s doing OK and he’s going to be part of the match,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni told reporters. “It’s up to me to decide and when I see he’s in good condition, even if he’s not 100% he will still play. “Even when he’s not at his best, he still has a lot to give.”

The winner of this epic encounter will advance to the final in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Sunday, where they will face either Uruguay or Colombia, who lock horns in their semi-final match on Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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