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Argentina begin Copa America defence with win

Argentina begin Copa America defence with win

Argentina kicked off their Copa América title defence with a 2-0 win over debutants Canada on Thursday (Jun 20).

Defending champions Argentina beat Canada in the opening game of the Copa America in Atlanta, Georgia.

Julian Alvarez opened the scoring from close range four minutes into the second half. Substitute Lautaro Martinez confirmed the win late on when turning in Lionel Messi's pass.

Victory in Group A stretches Argentina's unbeaten record at the Copa America to nine matches, having won the 2021 edition in Brazil and a third-place play-off two years previously.

The 2022 World Cup winners face Chile next on Jun 26. Canada, who are managed by Jesse Marsch, meet Peru on Jun 25.

This year's Copa America is being hosted in the United States with a mixture of Major League Soccer (MLS) and NFL stadiums picked as venues.

The pitch at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is the regular home of MLS side Atlanta United and NFL franchise Atlanta Falcons, came in for criticism from Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni.

It usually has an artificial pitch but a temporary grass surface was installed for this tournament.

"With all due respect, thank goodness we won," Scaloni said.