Copa America Centenario: Argentina Defeats United States 4-0
Argentina defeated the United States 4-0 in the semifinal of the Copa America Centenario. The #1 team in the world and the #1 player in the world certainly lived up to their reputations. Lionel Messi and his Argentinian teammates were brilliant in their absolute domination of the Americans.
The United States had the advantages of 2 extra days rest and playing in their home country. Argentina had the advantage of superior talent and it was quite evident from the start that would be the only advantage that mattered.
It only took until the 4th minute for the Argentinians to break through. Messi found Ezequiel Lavezzi, who tapped the ball over US keeper Brad Guzan caught in no-man’s land. Lavezzi had a scary moment in the 64th minute falling over the wall unable to brace himself. He was substituted from the match due to an apparent elbow injury.
In the 32nd minute, a Chris Wondolowski turnover and subsequent foul led to an Argentina free kick from about 25 yards out. Messi blasted the attempt right of the wall and into the upper right corner of the net just beyond an outstretched Guzan. The accuracy and power of Messi’s kick were simply spectacular and the type of highlight goal that fans expect to see every time he sets foot on the pitch.
The goal established Messi as Argentina’s all-time leading scorer in international play and they led 2-0 at halftime.
Americans Struggle Against Top Team
La Albiceleste began the 2nd half much like they began the first, striking quickly with a goal. Gonzalo Higuain scored in the 50th minute after Guzan spilled his initial attempt. Higuain added another goal on Messi’s 2nd assist of the match in the 86th minute. Messi was awarded Man of the Match.
From start to finish, this was one-way traffic. Argentina had a possession advantage by approximately a 2-1 ratio. The Americans were constantly defending and chasing the precision passing of the Argentinians.
Clint Dempsey scored goals in each of the United States’ last 3 matches. In this one, the closest he came to getting a meaningful touch was when he was part of the leaping wall on Messi’s goal. For the match, Argentina had 10 attempts on goal compared to 0 for the United States.
4-0 is the worst defeat ever for the United States in Copa America play. They were sloppy with their passing and defending, which proved costly against a team with far superior talent. US Team Captain Michael Bradley commented on the unforced errors after the match:
“You do that against a good team and they make you pay.”
Argentina advances to the Final against the winner of Colombia and Chile. The United States will play the 3rd place game Saturday in Arizona against the loser of that match.
(Argentina Defeats United States)