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Soccer News

Messi calls Argentine hero Martinez a ‘phenomenon’ after the shooting in the Copa America semi-final stopped

Aston Villa goalkeeper made three blocks to send Albiceleste to final

Emiliano Martinez is being hailed by Argentine team-mate Lionel Messi as a ‘phenomenon’ for his three shootings to secure a Copa America semi-final victory over Colombia on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old earned his first international match last month after a striking club season at Aston Villa and has now made himself a hero for the Albiceleste.

Colombia forced the shooting with a 61-minute goal from Luis Diaz, which canceled out an early Messi-backed strike by Lautaro Martinez, but Argentina’s goalkeeper secured a place in the final against Brazil on Saturday.

What was said?

“We have Emi who is a phenomenon,” said Messi, who converted from the spot in the shooting. “We trusted him. We achieved the goal of being able to play all the matches and now we are going to the final.”

Head coach Lionel Scaloni added that Martinez’s influence extends far beyond penalty situations.

“We are very pleased with Emiliano’s performance, not only because of the penalties, but also because of the safety he conveys,” he said. “The group of defenders is permanently supported and we like that.”

Reactions to the shooting