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Alvarez scores as Argentina leads Canada at halftime of Copa America semifinal


Julian Alvarez opened the scoring for Argentina as they hold a 1-0 lead over Canada after the first half of their Copa America semifinal matchup from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Alvarez picked up a pass from Rodrigo De Paul, split the Canadian defenders and fired the ball past keeper Maxime Crépeau to give the defending Copa America champions the lead in the 22nd minute.

Though Argentina finished the half with 60 per cent of the possession, Canada controlled the play for large stretches after surrendering the opening goal.

Jonathan David created a late chance for Canada, but Argentina keeper Emiliano Martínez was equal to the challenge.

Jacob Shaffelburg carried a lot of the offensive play in the opening 45 minutes for Canada and had two shots, though neither on target.

Lionel Messi had three shots, but also did not get one on target in the opening half of the match.

Canada’s Jonathan David was the first player booked, picking up a yellow card in the 32nd minute.

This game is a rematch of the opening game of the tournament, where Argentina earned a 2-0 victory.

Argentina is FIFA’s No. 1 ranked team, while Canada is 48th in the world rankings.

The winner of Tuesday’s semifinal matchup will advance to the Copa America Final on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Canada head coach Jesse Marsch made one change to the lineup that defeated Venezuela on penalties in the quarterfinals. Ismaël Koné, who scored the decisive penalty, replaced Jonathan Osorio in the starting XI for the semifinal.

Argentina’s scoring leader Lautaro Martínez started on the bench in Tuesday’s game, with four goals to lead the tournament.

Alvarez and Martínez combined to score Argentina’s two goals in their tournament-opening victory over Canada.