By NAN Sports Editor
News Americas, HOUSTON, TX, Weds. June 22, 2016: From the start it seemed like a mismatch. Here was a soccer giant – the eighth oldest in the world and with one of the best players in the globe on board – taking on a team just nine decades in existence.
By the end – the mismatch had played out in a sad way for US soccer fans hoping their team would emerge like David over Goliath. Not on Tuesday evening at the NRG Stadium in Houston! No, no!
It was all Argentina as the soccer giant led by their famous captain – Lionel Messi – buried the US 4-0 in the much-anticipated semi-finals of the Copa America 2016 competition.
Messi first rattled the US with one spectacular pass early to Ezequiel Lavezzi in the third minute that had led to a goal for Argentina.
He then followed that with another moment of brilliance in the 32nd minute, striking the ball with his left instep, curling it over the wall of US defenders and American goalkeeper Brad Guzan, back down into the absolute upper-right corner of the goal, where it stung the net with such force that the goal posts rattled.
After that, the US teamed looked too awestruck to respond and Argentina looked like they were playing a lion and mouse game!
Gonzalo Higuain scored for the Argentines in the 50th minute and Messi returned to scoop up a loose ball in front of the goal in the 86th minute and like a good Capitan – fed it to Higuaín for Higuaín’s second score of the game and Argentina’s fourth.
Messi’s goal was his 55th for his country, pushing him past Gabriel Batistuta as Argentina’s leading scorer.
On Sunday, June 26th, he will have a chance to increase that total as Argentina will play the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal in Chicago between Colombia and Chile at 7 p.m. CT in Chicago tonight with the hope of winning its first major trophy in more than 20 years, since the 1993 Copa América.