Lionel Messi labelled Emiliano Martinez a phenomenon after he saved three penalties in the semifinals of Copa America against Colombia. The match ended 1-1 after extra time with Lauturo Martinez’s opener was cancelled out by a Luis Diaz strike. Colombia had seen off Paraguay via the penalty shootout in the quarterfinals but could not repeat their heroics here. Martinez saved penalties from Davison Sanchez, Yerry Mina and Edwin Cardona. Argentina will face Brazil in the final of Copa America on Sunday.
“We have Emiliano Martinez, who is a phenomenon,” Lionel Messi said after the match. “We knew that he was going to stop them. We know and trust him. He deserves it.”
“Both of us are in the final, I know Neymar said it because we are friends and he wanted me to be there too,” Messi said. “It will surely be very close and difficult. We are aiming high, we managed to get the first objective of playing the final, playing all matches. Now we are aiming higher than ever, we are going to seek that Copa.”
Messi has reached the finals of Copa America on three occasions before but ended up on the losing side on every occasion. He will be hoping that the form of the two Martinez he can finally lift the trophy.
“This is a matter of luck, today it was mine. Brazil is a great team, the favourite,” Martinez said. “But we have a great coach, we have the best player in the world and we will try to win it.”