Argentina beats Canada 2-0 in Copa América semifinal

Canada’s dramatic run at Copa America won’t include a shot at a championship.

A 2-0 semifinal loss to reigning World Cup champion Argentina on Tuesday in East Rutherford, N.J. sends Lionel Messi and Co. to Sunday’s final in Miami.

Canada will play in the third-place game on Saturday in Charlotte against the loser of Wednesday’s semifinal between Uruguay and Colombia.

Canada had some counter-attack chances against the heavily favoured Argentines in the first half, but couldn’t convert.

World No. 1 Argentina dominated possession for much of the first half and converted on a beautiful play in the 22nd minute. Julian Alvarez got just enough space to finish off a pass from Rodrigo De Paul, delighting a noisy, pro-Argentine crowd of 80,102.

Messi made it 2-0 in the 50th minute when he tipped home a shot from Enzo Fernandez.

Canada, ranked 48th in the world, has enjoyed far more success than anyone predicted in its inaugural appearance in Copa America.

After losing 2-0 to Argentina in the opener, Canada beat Peru and tied Chile to advance to the quarterfinals, where new coach Jesse Marsch’s side topped Venezuela in penalties.