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‘Proud’ Lionel Scaloni delighted as Argentina reach another final

Argentina’s coach Lionel Scaloni instructs his player during the Copa America semi-final (Julia Nikhinson/AP)
Argentina’s coach Lionel Scaloni instructs his player during the Copa America semi-final (Julia Nikhinson/AP)

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni praised his team after they booked their place in the Copa America final.

Goals in each half from Julian Alvarez and Lionel Messi were enough to see the defending champions past tournament debutants Canada 2-0.

Scaloni has already steered his team to the 2021 Copa America and World Cup a year later and described the latest success as “something to be proud of.”

Copa America Soccer Argentina Canada
Argentina’s coach Lionel Scaloni, centre left, embraces Canada’s coach Jesse Marsch at the end of the Copa America semi-final  (Adam Hunger/AP)

“I think the team has done good things every game. It’s impossible to be disappointed with these guys,” Scaloni said.

“My gratitude is all for the players. We have been praised. We have been successful. And to get here after that costs twice as much.”

He described Canada, coached by former Leeds boss Jesse Marsch, as “a very difficult opponent”.

“Everyone thought it was going to be a bed of roses and it wasn’t like that at all,” he said.

“We have a few days to rest. We will try to play a great game on Sunday.”

Messi described the success of the team as “insane”.

“For those who remain from the old guard, it’s beyond impressive that the national team is in another final,” he said.

He admitted the tournament had been “very difficult” with “bad surfaces, excessive heat”.