- Argentina makes it to the final of Copa America after defeating Colombia in semi-final on Tuesday
- Lionel Messi hails goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez for his 3 saves helping Argentina reaching the Final
The Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has been labelled a “phenomenon” by Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi for his three penalty shoot-out saves to clinch their Copa America semi-final win over Colombia on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old earned his first international cap in June following a standout club season at Aston Villa and now has made himself a hero for the Albiceleste.
Colombia forced the shootout with a 61st-minute goal coming from Luis Diaz which cancelled out the advantage Argentina had with an early Messi-assisted strike by Lautaro Martinez, however, Argentina’s goalkeeper ensured a place in the final against Brazil on Saturday.
Messi said, “We have Emi, who is a phenomenon,” who converted from the spot in the shootout.
“We trusted him. We achieved the goal of being able to play all the games and now we are going to the final.”
Argentina’s Head Coach Lionel Scaloni added that Martinez’s influence has extended far beyond penalties.
He said, “We are very happy with Emiliano’s performance, not only because of the penalties, but also because of the security that he is transmitting,” and added, “The group of defenders is permanently supported and we like that.”
Maximiliano Bretos wrote, “Emiliano Martinez telling Yerry Mina “You look scared” right before the penalty. He was right.”
Emiliano Martinez telling Yerry Mina “You look scared” right before the penalty. He was right.— Maximiliano Bretos (@MaxBretosSports) July 7, 2021
Sports journalist Ives Galarcep wrote, “ARGENTINA wins the SHOOTOUT!!! Emiliano Martinez makes THREE penalty saves & Messi and Lautaro are among those to convert. Martinez did ALL the trash talking during penalties, and it definitely got into Colombian takers’ heads. Argentina vs. Brazil. Saturday night. Can’t Wait.”
ARGENTINA wins the SHOOTOUT!!! Emiliano Martinez makes THREE penalty saves & Messi and Lautaro are among those to convert.— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) July 7, 2021
Martinez did ALL the trash talking during penalties, and it definitely got into Colombian takers' heads.
Argentina vs. Brazil. Saturday night. Can't Wait
Roy Nemer wrote, “EMILIANO MARTINEZ I LOVE YOU”
EMILIANO MARTINEZ I LOVE YOU— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) July 7, 2021
Btw, Emi Martinez is such a badass.— Castro1021 (@Castro1021) July 7, 2021
One of the best pen GKs I’ve seen in a fat minute.
The trash talking was entertaining af. ?
Emi Martinez and Messi after the game ??? pic.twitter.com/uIP1Nw1hXx— ⚡️?? (@Priceless_Silva) July 7, 2021