Emiliano Martinez the hero as Argentina beat Colombia after penalties. Messi and his teammates will now face Brazil in Sunday's final - Copa America
Argentina defeated Colombia in a semi-final shootout to go to the Copa America final against Brazil on Saturday as Emiliano Martinez saved three penalties.
It was 1-1 after extra time before the Aston Villa goalkeeper stopped Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina, and Edwin Cardona from the penalty spot.
Argentina took the lead after Lionel Messi set up Lautaro Martinez, but Luis Diaz equalised to take the game to penalties.
The final will be played on Sunday, July 11th.
In the shootout, Messi, Lautaro Martinez, and Leandro Paredes all scored penalties, but Emiliano Martinez was the hero, making a hat-trick of diving saves after being scarcely tested during the game.
The 28-year-old, who came to England with Arsenal and had loan spells with Rotherham, Oxford, Reading, Sheffield Wednesday, and Wolves, was also given a talking to by the referee for his constant chatter directed at Colombia's players as they lined up to take their kicks.
"They took us to penalties and that's a question of luck, today it was my turn for glory," he said. "I'm speechless."
Six-time Messi, who is chasing his first senior trophy with Argentina, lauded the Villa goalkeeper for ensuring that they "fulfilled our objective" of reaching the final.
"It was difficult at times," Messi said. "But we have 'Emi' and he's phenomenal. We trusted him."
Argentina will play reigning champions Brazil at the Maracana on Saturday, having won the last of their 14 Copa America championships in 1993.
Brazil, which has won the Copa America nine times and hosted the tournament on five previous occasions, defeated Peru 1-0 in the other semi-final on Tuesday.
Watch the penalty shoot-out below:
Y alguno en Argentina le seguirá llamando a Messi pechofrío…pic.twitter.com/zxtVvLQFT9— moisESPN (@moillorens) July 7, 2021