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Lionel Messi Nets His First as Argentina Pass Canada Test To Reach Second Consecutive Copa America Final

Copa America 2024: Lionel Messi netted his first goal in the campaign to surpass the goal tally of Iran’s Ali Daei (108) to be the second highest goalscorer of all time behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi Nets His First as Argentina Pass Canada Test To Reach Second Consecutive Copa America Final

Argentina are set to play their second consecutive final after they defeated Canada 2-0 at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Wednesday. They will be facing either Uruguay or Colombia, on Sunday at the Hard Rock stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. It will make their record-extending 30th final appearance, tying Uruguay for the most Copa America championships.

The 2022 World Cup winners looked very much comfortable from the start as they continued to attack and create chances. Manchester City striker, Julain Alvarez opened the scoring for his side at the 22nd minute. In first-half stoppage time, Canada almost equalised against the run of play when Jonathan David slipped in ahead of his marker to receive a long throw, but his close-range effort went straight at goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Skipper Lionel Messi extended the advantage in the 51st minute, deflecting Enzo Fernandez's drive from the edge of the box beyond Canada goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau. Despite the two goal lead, the Argentine defence was nervy towards the end as substitute Tani Oluwaseyi challenged Martinez with a precise shot in the 89th minute before dipping a header wide a minute later.

Messi's team has reached the major final for the third time in a row. The Albiceleste won the 2021 Copa America, defeating Brazil 1-0 in the final. They went on to win the 2022 Qatar World Cup, defeating France 4-2 on penalties after the final was deadlocked 3-3 in extra time.

Second Highest Goal Scorer

Messi's goal pushed his international goal count for Iran beyond Ali Daei’s 108, becoming him the second-highest goal scorer of all time after Cristiano Ronaldo (130). This was Messi's 14th goal in Copa America history.

Highest international goal scorers in history 

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal): 130 goals 

2. Lionel Messi (Argentina): 109 goals 

3. Ali Daei (Iran): 108 goals 

4. Sunil Chhetri (India): 94 goals 

5. Mokhtar Dahari (Malaysia): 89 goals 

6. Ali Mabkhout (UAE); Romelu Lukaku (Belgium): 85 goals 

7. Ferenc Puskas (Hungary): 84 goals 

8. Robert Lewandowski (Poland): 83 goals 

9. Godfrey Chitalu (Zambia); Neymar (Brazil): 79 goals 

10. Hussein Saeed (Iraq): 78 goals