The Aston Villa goalkeeper made three saves to send the Albiceleste through to face BrazilEmiliano Martinez has been labelled a “phenomenon” by Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi for his three shoot-out saves to clinch their Copa America semi-final win over Colombia on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old earned his first international cap last month following a standout club season at Aston Villa, and has now made himself a hero for the Albiceleste.
Colombia had forced the shootout with a 61st-minute goal from Luis Diaz that cancelled out an early Messi-assisted strike by Lautaro Martinez, but Argentina’s goalkeeper ensured a place in the final against Brazil on Saturday. Editors’ Picks
What has been said?”We have Emi, who is a phenomenon,” said Messi, who converted from the spot in the shootout. “We trusted him. We achieved the goal of being able to play all the games and now we are going to the final.”
Head coach Lionel Scaloni added that Martinez’s influence has extended far beyond penalties.
“We are very happy with Emiliano’s performance, not only because of the penalties, but also because of the security that he is transmitting,” he said. “The group of defenders is permanently supported and we like that.”
Reactions to the shootoutEmiliano Martinez telling Yerry Mina “You look scared” right before the penalty. He was right.— Maximiliano Bretos (@MaxBretosSports) July 7, 2021ARGENTINA wins the SHOOTOUT!!! Emiliano Martinez makes THREE penalty saves & Messi and Lautaro are among those to convert.Martinez did ALL the trash talking during penalties, and it definitely got into Colombian takers’ heads.Argentina vs. Brazil. Saturday night. Can’t Wait— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) July 7, 2021EMILIANO MARTINEZ I LOVE YOU— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) July 7, 2021Btw, Emi Martinez is such a badass.One of the best pen GKs I’ve seen in a fat minute.The trash talking was entertaining af. 😂— Castro1021 (@Castro1021) July 7, 2021Further reading