Emiliano Martinez saved three penalties as Argentina beat Colombia in a semi-final shootout to advance to Saturday’s Copa America final against Brazil.
The Aston Villa keeper denied Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina and Edwin Cardona from the spot after the game ended 1-1.
Lionel Messi set up Lautaro Martinez to put Argentina ahead before Luis Diaz levelled to send the game to penalties.
The final will be broadcast live on the BBC, with kick-off at 01:00 BST on Sunday, 11 July.
Messi, Lautaro Martinez and Leandro Paredes all scored their penalties in the shootout, but Emiliano Martinez was the hero as he produced a hat-trick of diving saves after being rarely troubled during the game.
The 28-year-old, who moved to English football with Arsenal and had loan spells at Rotherham, Oxford, Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and Wolves, also earned a talking to from the referee for his ceaseless chat aimed at Colombia’s players as they lined up to take their kicks.
“They took us to penalties and that’s a question of luck, today it was my turn for glory,” he said. “I’m speechless.”
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, who is looking to win his first senior trophy Argentina, praised the Villa keeper for ensuring they “fulfilled our objective” of reaching the final.
“It was difficult at times,” Messi said. “But we have ‘Emi’ and he’s phenomenal. We trusted him.”
Argentina, who won the last of their 14 Copa America titles in 1993, face defending champions Brazil at the Maracana on Saturday.
Brazil, who have won the Copa America nine times – and on all five of the previous occasions they have hosted the tournament – beat Peru 1-0 in the other semi-final on Tuesday.
- 26MolinaSubstituted forMontielat 45′minutesBooked at 72mins
- 6PezzellaBooked at 90mins
- 7de Paul
- 18RodríguezBooked at 87mins
- 20Lo CelsoBooked at 21minsSubstituted forParedesat 56′minutes
- 15GonzálezSubstituted forDi Maríaat 67′minutes
- 2Martínez Quarta
- 11Di María
- 16MuñozBooked at 75mins
- 23D Sánchez
- 6TesilloSubstituted forFabraat 45′minutesBooked at 55mins
- 11Ju CuadradoBooked at 45mins
- 5BarriosBooked at 88mins
- 8CuéllarSubstituted forCharáat 45′minutes
- 18BorréSubstituted forCardonaat 45′minutesBooked at 86mins
- 7ZapataSubstituted forBorjaat 60′minutesBooked at 63mins
- Jesús Valenzuela
Match ends, Argentina 1(3), Colombia 1(2).
Penalty Shootout ends, Argentina 1(3), Colombia 1(2).
Penalty saved! Edwin Cardona (Colombia) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.
Goal! Argentina 1(3), Colombia 1(2). Lautaro Martínez (Argentina) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.
Goal! Argentina 1(2), Colombia 1(2). Miguel Borja (Colombia) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.
Goal! Argentina 1(2), Colombia 1(1). Leandro Paredes (Argentina) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Penalty saved! Yerry Mina (Colombia) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.
Penalty missed! Bad penalty by Rodrigo de Paul (Argentina) right footed shot is just a bit too high. Rodrigo de Paul should be disappointed.
Penalty saved! Davinson Sánchez (Colombia) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.
Goal! Argentina 1(1), Colombia 1(1). Lionel Messi (Argentina) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the top right corner.
Goal! Argentina 1, Colombia 1(1). Juan Cuadrado (Colombia) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Penalty Shootout begins Argentina 1, Colombia 1.
Second Half ends, Argentina 1, Colombia 1.
Foul by Guido Rodríguez (Argentina).
Luis Díaz (Colombia) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Nicolás Otamendi (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Davinson Sánchez (Colombia).
Germán Pezzella (Argentina) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Germán Pezzella (Argentina).
Luis Díaz (Colombia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Article courtesy of BBC Sport