Argentina didn’t need any help in getting to the Copa America final, and Lionel Messi didn’t even need to score to move 90 minutes closer to his dream of a tournament championship.
Messi did have three assists, and Angel Di Maria scored twice as La Albiceleste thrashed Paraguay in a 6-1 semifinal win, serving notice to hosts Chile. The two rivals will meet in the final on July 4 in Santiago.
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Marcos Rojo, Javier Pastore and Sergio Aguero also scored for Argentina, while Lucas Barrios netted a stunning long-range shot before halftime to give Paraguay brief hope, down 2-1 at the break.
Di Maria’s Manchester United teammate Rojo started the scoring just 14 minutes into the match, three minutes after receiving one of three early yellow cards dealt out in a testy affair.
Paraguay barely lost the shots battle, 15-14, but that mattered not against the playmaking Argentine side.