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Argentina wins 2-0 against Canada in the opening match of the Copa America

Argentina's Lautaro Martinez celebrates with his teammates after scoring his team's second goal against Canada during a Copa America Group A soccer match in Atlanta on June 20, 2024.

Argentina’s Lautaro Martinez celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s second goal against Canada during a Copa America Group A soccer match in Atlanta on June 20, 2024. | Photo credit: AP

Defending champions Argentina defeated Canada 2-0 in their opening match of the Copa America in Atlanta on Thursday, with strikers Julian Alvarez and Lautaro Martinez scoring second-half goals to seal the win.

Canada timed their pressing perfectly and created several chances in the first half. Argentina came closest to scoring through Angel di Maria, but he missed a golden opportunity after a rapid run from his own half.

Four minutes after the restart, Lionel Scaloni’s side broke through when Lionel Messi played a superb pass to Alexis Mac Allister, who pushed the ball away from the advancing Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau and laid it out for Alvarez, who simply fired home.

Canada continued to press after falling behind, but the introduction of experienced centre-back Nicolas Otamendi gave Argentina some much-needed stability in defence before substitute Martinez netted in the 88th minute from a pass from Messi to seal the win.

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