A pitch-invader sprinted onto the surface and headed straight for Lionel Messi. Reaching the Argentine star, who became his country’s all-time top scorer here, he hit the deck and bowed down several times at his feet. He was the only man who got close to Messi all night, and he spoke for the stadium.
The No 10’s gravity-defying free-kick sent Argentina flying into the Copa America Centenario final, and Messi set up goals for Ezequiel Lavezzi and Gonzalo Higuain as well, pulling the strings as he closes in on the title which will make his legend undeniable.
The USA were forced into several changes by suspensions to key players Jermaine Jones, Bobby Wood and Alejandro Bedoya, who had started every game thus far, but it wasn’t the reason they were taken to pieces by Argentina. No – that was the distance in quality between the teams.