For Argentina, today was just another day. Glorious, free-flowing, creative football so typical of the Albiceleste was on display yet again. For Mexico, it was just another Copa America. Nobody beats them at reaching Copa semi-finals and then bowing out.
Argentina continue to produce some amazing goals as they hit three past Mexico this evening. Juan Roman Riquelme took over from where he left setting up one goal and scoring another, further strengthening his case for player of the tournament.
The game started with Argentina showing positive intent right from the word go. A number of chances were created. The midfield was doing its job well maintaining possession and creating some good balls. Mexico had defended tightly and, after a while, it was they who began to threaten. Mexico almost took the lead when Andres Guardado shot just wide. Their plan of containing Riquelme was also working well with the gifted playmaker at the receiving end of most fouls.
One foul, however, cost them dearly. Riquelme, not surprisingly, took the 44th minute free kick that turned the game around. His brilliant delivery found Heinze who acrobatically guided the ball in, leaving three defenders and the keeper staring hopelessly at each other.
The second half saw Mexico almost grabbing the equalizer with Nery Castillo’s effort hitting the crossbar. But it was Argentina who struck again in the 59th minute. Tevez played in a clever ball to Messi on the right, who came up with a chip of the highest quality to beat a diving Oswaldo Sanchez. Within a minute of the restart, Riquelme squandered a glorious opportunity to finish off Mexico once and for all. Nevertheless, they were finished when Tevez was brought down in the box. Riquelme’s beautifully taken penalty kick shut the door completely on Mexico.
Argentina now face Brazil for top honours in a rematch of the Copa America 2004 final. On that occasion, it was the Samba boys who came out victorious on penalties. Argentina have revenge on their minds, a shot at a record fifteenth Copa title and a golden opportunity to end a streak of 13+ years without a major trophy. Not to mention, a chance to beat their biggest rivals. Now thats a hell lot to play for. It should be one interesting Sunday.