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Copa America: Argentina beat Colombia 3-2 on penalties to reach final against Brazil

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, Copa America: Argentina beat Colombia 3-2 on penalties to reach final against Brazil, Frederick Nuetei
, Copa America: Argentina beat Colombia 3-2 on penalties to reach final against Brazil, Frederick Nuetei

Argentina’s national team is now one step away from ending their international title drought after a thrilling Copa America 2021 semi-final win over Colombia in Brasilia on Tuesday night, July 6.

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Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, was the hero as he stopped three Colombia spot-kicks at Mane Garrincha Stadium setting up a mouth-watering final clash between Neymar and Lionel Messi. Colombia were fighting to reach their first Copa America final after failing in their six previous semifinals.

At the beginning of the match, Columbia pressed on but Argentina took the early lead courtesy of a fine strike from Martinez after Giovanni Lo Celso linked up with Lionel Messi in the 7th minute. Argentina then came close to scoring when Nicolas Gonzalez picked up a header from Lionel Messi’s corner-kick but he was denied by goalkeeper David Ospina from close range.

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, Copa America: Argentina beat Colombia 3-2 on penalties to reach final against Brazil, Frederick Nuetei

Colombia tried scoring through Cuadrado, but he was denied by Martinez from close range. Then, Wilmar Barrios tested Argentina’s defence with a bullet shot from the edge of the box that hit Martinez after getting a deflection off Lo Celso. With added pressure, Colombia forced Argentina’s goalkeeper to produce another stunning save from a Mina header after a corner-kick.

, Copa America: Argentina beat Colombia 3-2 on penalties to reach final against Brazil, Frederick Nuetei

In the second half, Argentina were caught out in the 61st minute with Luis Diaz scoring a nice goal after a brilliant run following Cardona’s release on the left. Diaz beat Martinez from a tight angle to get the deserved equaliser. In the 73rd minute, Argentina failed to take the advantage after Ospina left his post allowing Angel Di Maria to dribble past him. Di Maria then released the ball for Lautaro, whose shot at the goal was blocked by Barrios. Di Maria then sent the rebound wide.

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Argentina got another chance to restore the lead in the 80th minute after Di Maria found Messi with a through ball. But Messi’s left-footed shot hit the right post. Ten minutes later, Messi hit the wall from a free-kick, their last chance before heading for the penalty shoot-out.

, Copa America: Argentina beat Colombia 3-2 on penalties to reach final against Brazil, Frederick Nuetei

Juan Cuadrado opened the shoot-out, beating Martinez. A bloodied Messi then buried Argentina’s first to make it 1-1. Martinez guessed correctly to block Davinson Sanchez’s kick and advantage Argentina. But Rodrigo De Paul failed to capitalise as he blazed over the bar. 1-1 after two kicks each. Martinez produced another block, by leaping to his right to deny Yerry Mina. Leandro Paredes sent Ospina the wrong way to give Argentina a 2-1 lead after three kicks each.

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Miguel Borja scored for Colombia but Lautaro Martinez, who opened the scoring during the open play in the seventh minute, made it 3-2 after four each. Martinez again blocked a penalty from Edwin Cardona.

Argentina won the shoot-out 3-2.

For Argentina, Sunday’s title clash against bitter rivals Brazil will be their 29th final. They last won the continental title in 1993, and lost the finals in 2004, 2007, 2015 and 2016. They had also finished third last term, after losing to Brazil in the semis. Argentina (14) will become the joint-most successful side with Uruguay (15) if they beat Brazil. While Neymar’s Brazil are chasing their 10th title. They are the defending champions.

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Frederick Nuetei Nortey known professionally as Frederick Nortey is a Ghanaian Celebrity Blogger and publicist.He founded fredericknuetei.com an entertainment website and blog that primarily publishes news about Ghanaian Celebrities.

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CK Akunnor has been sacked as Black Stars coach

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, CK Akunnor has been sacked as Black Stars coach, Frederick Nuetei

The Executive Council of the Ghana Football Association has taken a decision to terminate the appointment of Black Stars Coach Charles Akonnor and his two Assistants with immediate effect.

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This follows the receipt of the Technical Report from the Head Coach of the Senior National Team and the report from the Black Stars Management Committee following Ghana’s Group G World Cup qualifying matches against Ethiopia and South Africa. 

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2022 World Cup qualifiers: South Africa score late to beat Ghana

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, 2022 World Cup qualifiers: South Africa score late to beat Ghana, Frederick Nuetei

The Black Stars of Ghana suffered a 1-0 defeat to the Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Monday night to surrender their lead at the top of Group G of the World Cup qualifiers. 

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Bongokuhle Hlongwane’s netted the only goal of the game in the 82nd minute after an improved second half performance from the hots. The host earlier had a goal ruled out for offside after Percy Tau looked to be in position before finishing off a cross in the 3th minute. Goalkeeper Richard Ofori was given a respite in the second half after letting a ball through his legs but the Bafana Bafana failed to capitalize after a striker misdirected the ball. 

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The Black Stars started the game well and had an early chance when defender Fafawu Mohammed sent striker Joel Fameyeh through, only for him to be clipped by De Reuck. The South Africa defender was then booked. However, the game swung immediately with the hosts dominating possession, but it was until the 32nd minute when Percy Tau though he had broken the deadlock only for him to be ruled offside. Five minutes later a freekick by the South African’s saw Richard Ofori, fumble but the rebound went way off. Ghana were lucky to head into the break with the result goalless. 

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After the break, the South Africans took charge again and should have taken the lead after Richard Ofori spilled a lose ball. Richard Ofori got injured later on and had to be replaced by Ati Zigi. But the pressure from South Africa was irresistible and with eight minutes left Bongokuhle Hlongwane broke the deadlock. 

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