Argentina begun their 2024 Copa America title defence with a 2-0 win over Canada, as talisman Messi played a crucial part in both goals. However, Messi was on the receiving end of trolling and criticism on social media, as he missed an open goal chance while Argentina were 1-0 up. A video went viral, where Messi, having been sent through on goal, failed to score the chance as well as the rebound. Messi later made up for the miss by assisting Argentina’s second goal, scored by Lautaro Martinez.

Watch: Lionel Messi‘s miss

In the video, an inch-perfect long ball from Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez finds Messi through on goal, 1v1 against the Canada goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau. Messi’s first shot is straight at the keeper. On the rebound, Messi manages to fake a dummy past the goalkeeper, but scuffs his shot, which is blocked.

Messi wasn’t the only one to squander a golden opportunity, as Angel di Maria too missed one earlier in the game.

After a goalless first half, Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez had fired home the opening goal. Messi had penetrated the Canada backline with a superb throughball, reaching Alexis Mac Allister, who passed it to Alvarez.

Messi’s chance, which came in the 65th minute, would’ve doubled the lead. However, the 2022 FIFA World Cup champions had to wait till the 88th minute, when Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez sealed the result, again after a delicate throughball by Messi.

Copa America 2024 is being held in the United States of America, in what is the 48th edition of the tournament. Argentina have been placed in Group A, alongside Canada, Peru and Chile.

Messi and Argentina will be hoping to bury the demons from 2015 and 2016 by beating Chile, who had defeated them in the final of both editions.

Arch-nemesis and fellow favourites Brazil begin their 2024 Copa America campaign on 25 June.

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