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Lionel Messi shines, Julian Alvarez proves worth, Alphonso Davies injured: Winners and Losers from Argentina's Copa America semifinal win over Canada

After all, Lionel Messi did show up.

The Argentine had received his fair share of criticism in what had been a goal-less run in the Copa America, and with good reason. His performance had been far short of his usual standards in his nation’s colors.

They beat Canada 2-0 in the Copa semifinals at MetLife Stadium, and advanced to Sunday's final, awaiting the winner of Colombia-Uruguay. And in reality it was never really that close. La Albiceleste strolled through the game for the most part. 

Julian Alvarez may have done enough to earn himself a spot in the XI for good, with the Man City forward finally finding his best at the right time - and did so while Messi returned to his usual self.

Clean, concise, and in the right place at the right time. Age aside, Messi remains crucial to Argentina's success.

Canada offered some attacking ideas. They have certainly improved in such a short period of time under Jesse Marsch.

“I've been saying that it'll be hard when we're all done to say goodbye because I've really enjoyed the process with this team, and I think we've made a lot of progress together," Marsch said postgame. "I took this job seven weeks ago. I couldn't have imagined that I'd be right here right now ... 'm really happy with the team and really happy with the progress."

Alphonso Davies caused problems, but exited the game with an injury - and Canada's dreams ended with his substitution late. In the end, they lacked the clinical nature of the reigning champions, and it showed.

And Argentina simply stood taller. Lionel Scaloni has now led this side to three straight tournament finals. Chances are, he is in line for a third win. GOAL breaks down the winners and losers from MetLife Stadium.

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