HOUSTON, Sporting Alert – Lionel Messi leads Argentina against USA in a Copa America semi-final game at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday night.
Goal! USA 0, Argentina 4. Gonzalo Higuaín (Argentina) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lionel Messi.
Goal! USA 0, Argentina 3. Gonzalo Higuaín (Argentina) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner.
Goal! USA 0, Argentina 2. Lionel Messi (Argentina) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the top right corner.
Goal! USA 0, Argentina 1. Ezequiel Lavezzi (Argentina) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi following a corner.
Messi starts alongside Gonzalo Higuaín and Ezequiel Lavezzi, who gets the nod over Sergio Aguero as a replacement for Nicolas Gaitan.
Gerardo Martino has decided to go with the pace of Lavezzi in the starting lineup, with Aguero starting on the bench along with Angel Di Maria.
Javier Mascherano, Ever Banega and Augusto Fernández start in the field, with Ramiro Funes Mori, Nicolás Otamendi, Marcos Rojo and Gabriel Mercado in the backline. Sergio Romero starts in goal.
Meanwhile, DeAndre Yedlin returns for USA to play in the backline and replaced Matt Besler.
Kyle Beckerman, Graham Zusi and Chris Wondolowski also come into the starting lineup for the expelled Bobby Wood, Alejandro Bedoya and Jermaine Jones.
The last time USA and Argentina met in the Copa America tournament La Albiceleste’s ran away 4-1 winners in 2007.
Their last two meetings, however, ended in draws, and USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann believes his team can get past Messi and the world No. 1 ranked side. The German also thinks his side can win the Copa America.
“There’s no reason at all why we can’t win Copa America,” he said. “We travelled the world the last few years to very difficult friendly games all over Europe and in Mexico and we came away with wins.
“We surprised a lot of people — no one gave us a chance to get out of the group in Brazil [at the World Cup]. We left Portugal behind, we left Ghana behind.
“Dream big — why not? This is about two more games.”
Argentina: Brad Guzan, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Fabian Johnson, DeAndre Yedlin, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Gyasi Zardes, Graham Zusi, Clint Dempsey, Chris Wondolowski.
USA: Sergio Romero, Ramiro Funes Mori, Nicolás Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Gabriel Mercado, Javier Mascherano, Ever Banega, Augusto Fernández, Gonzalo Higuaín, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lionel Messi