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Messi fit for semifinal, says coach

Messi fit for semifinal, says coach

Argentina captain Lionel Messi will be fit to play in Tuesday's (Jul 9) Copa America semi-final against Canada in New Jersey, coach Lionel Scaloni said, despite the forward's hamstring injury concerns.

Messi returned to action on Thursday in Argentina's quarter-final win against Ecuador after missing the final group-stage match due to injury. He played the entire game, but looked physically hampered.

The 37-year-old Inter Miami player missed a penalty in the shootout that decided the game at Houston's NRG Stadium.

"Leo (Messi) is fine, he finished well, so tomorrow he will be part of the match, we are calm," Scaloni told a press conference on Monday ahead of the semi-final clash at the MetLife Stadium. "His level looks good. He is essential for us."

Argentina and Canada will meet for the second time in the tournament after the opening match in Group A, where the defending champions beat the CONCACAF side 2-0.