Defending champions Argentina secured their spot in the Copa America final, thanks to goals from Julian Alvarez and Lionel Messi, which led to a 2-0 victory over Canada in the semifinal held in New Jersey on Tuesday.

Argentina will compete against either Uruguay or Colombia in the final on Sunday in Florida. This match could mark the last opportunity for several veteran players, including Messi, Angel Di Maria, and Nicolas Otamendi, to win a major international trophy.

Messi, aged 37, hinted at possible retirement after the Copa America, stating in a post-match interview with TyC Sports, "Let's enjoy what we are experiencing as a national team, as a group. It is not easy to be in a final again, to compete again to be champions. I'm living it as I have been living everything lately: enjoying it very much and being aware, as it happens to Fideo (Di Maria) and Ota (Otamendi), that these are the last battles."

Argentina, who hold a joint-record 15 Copa titles and have reached the final six times in the last eight editions, faced significant challenges from Canada in the initial 20 minutes, with Jacob Shaffelburg missing two clear chances.

However, Argentina took the lead in the 22nd minute when Rodrigo De Paul assisted Alvarez, who skillfully scored past two defenders. The team, currently ranked number one in FIFA's rankings and winners of the 2022 World Cup, gradually dominated the game.

Messi, who had been dealing with a muscle injury, looked rejuvenated and scored Argentina's second goal in the 51st minute, redirecting Enzo Fernandez's shot past Canada's goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau. This goal placed Messi joint fifth in the all-time Copa America scoring charts and moved him into second place on the all-time international scoring charts, surpassing Iran's Ali Daei.

Despite holding a two-goal lead, Argentina faced a tense final period as Canada's substitute Tani Oluwaseyi tested goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez with a sharp shot and narrowly missed a header.

For Canada, the loss concludes a remarkable journey where they outperformed higher-ranked CONCACAF rivals Mexico and the United States, co-hosts of the 2026 World Cup. Midfielder Stephen Eustaquio reflected on the match, stating, "They're the best team in the world, but at the same time we had our chances in the beginning of the game. To get here, the last four of the Copa America, it's a big achievement."