Tuesday’s Copa América Centenario semifinal between the U.S. and Argentina saw the Americans trail 2-0 at halftime, and part of that was thanks to a stunning strike from Argentine striker Lionel Messi. Here’s a look at what Messi pulled off with a free kick from just outside the box in the 33rd minute, with Argentina already up 1-0:
Here’s the slow-motion replay:
And a GIF from behind U.S. keeper Brad Guzan:
Messi upper 90. pic.twitter.com/xbJ4Rc6wEl
— HuffPost Sports (@HuffPostSports) June 22, 2016
Messi also played a vital role in Argentina’s first goal three minutes in, setting up Ezequiel Lavezzi with a beautiful chip:
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 22, 2016
That’s a pretty impressive half from Messi, but not all that out of the ordinary for the 2015 FIFA World Player of the Year (the fifth time he’s won that award). Shutting him down as both a playmaker and a scorer is incredibly tough, and the U.S. wasn’t able to do that in the first half Tuesday.