Argentina will have Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to thank after the Messi captained team defeated Colombia on penalties to set up a dream Copa America final against Brazil.
‘Flying’ Martinez saved three penalties in the shoot-out after a 1-1 draw in Brasilia at full time.
Hosts Brazil defeated Peru 1-0 in Monday’s first semi-final and the two South American rivals will now meet on Saturday.
Two years ago a Brazil team missing the injured Neymar knocked out Argentina in the semi-finals before winning their ninth Copa America title on home soil.
For Messi, 34, time is running out to win a first major international title with his national team, having previously lost in three Copa finals and the 2014 World Cup final.
Lautaro Martinez on put Argentina through seven minutes into the game, before Luis Diaz equalized just after the hour mark.
In the shoot-out, goalkeeper Martinez three times dived to his left to save penalties from center-backs Davinson Sanchez and Yerry Mina, as well as midfielder Edwin Cardona.
Saturday’s final promises to be a mouthwatering encounter and will pitch Neymar who has been praying to meet Argentina against his former Barcelona mate, Messi.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.