Argentina is through to the 2021 Copa América final following a dramatic semifinal clash at an empty Estadio Nacional de Brasilia which saw La Albiceleste beat Colombia 3-2 on penalties.
In the shoot-out, Argentina goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez three times dived to his left to save penalties from center-backs Davinson Sanchez and Yerry Mina, as well as midfielder Edwin Cardona, after a bruising 1-1 draw in Brasilia.
The game opened in upbeat fashion as Captain Lionel Messi set up the ball neatly for Lautaro Martinez in the 7th minute, who then blasted it low into the right side of the net, away from the gloves of David Ospina.
Hosts Brazil beat Peru 1-0 in Monday’s first semi-final, meaning their star forward Neymar will line up against Lionel Messi’s Argentina on Saturday at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium.
Two years ago, a Brazil team missing the injured Neymar knocked out Argentina in the semi-finals before winning their ninth Copa title on home soil.
Emiliano Martinez said: “is a question of luck and today it was my turn to be the glorious one.
“We said it the first day, we want to play the final and what better than playing Brazil on their pitch.”
Argentina and Colombia were actually supposed to be joint hosts but South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL switched venues at the 11th hour due to the coronavirus pandemic and social unrest in Colombia.
Despite the defeat, Colombia coach, Reinaldo Rueda was feeling positive, saying their performance “invites us to dream, to think we’re on the right path.
“We should lift our heads, look each other in the eyes and know we have nothing to reproach ourselves about.”