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Lionel Messi breaks record as Argentina reach Copa America final

Lionel Messi became his country's leading scorer with a superb free-kick as Argentina beat hosts the USA 4-0 reach Sunday's Copa America final.

The Barcelona forward, 28, passed Gabriel Batistuta's 54-goal tally with a 25-yard strike.

Messi provided the assist for Ezequiel Lavezzi's opener, then scored his stunner before Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain fired in to make it 3-0.

Higuain scored with a tap-in in the 85th minute to complete the rout.

"I am happy to have surpassed Batistuta's record and I want to thank my team-mates - it's theirs as well," said Messi, who turns 29 on Friday.

Argentina will play either Colombia or reigning champions Chile, who meet in Chicago on Wednesday
Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Staff writter

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