ALISTAIR JOHNSTON lost out to Lionel Messi as Argentina overcame Canada 2-0 in the Copa America in Atlanta, Georgia, this morning.

The Celtic right-back played the entire 90 minutes-plus against the world champions in a disappointing start to Group A in the competition for Jesse Marsch’s team.

All eyes were on Messi, but it was Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez who claimed the breakthrough goal four minutes after the interval when he swooped onto a pass from Liverpool’s Alexis Mac Allister.

FOILED…Canada keeper Maxime Crebeau dives to save at the feet of Lionel Messi as the Argentina maestro looks certain to add to his nation’s scoreline. 

A timely intervention from Johnston prevented the world superstar from doubling his nation’s lead shortly afterwards when he slid in to take the ball off his toe as he was about to knock it over the line.

Canada squandered a couple of opportunties to get back on level terms before Lautaro Martinez, who had replaced Alvarez in the 76th minute, netted in the fading moments.

Johnston’s team-mate, keeper Maxime Crebeau, was his country’s top performer with a handful of superb stops, a couple from Messi.

Canada’s next game is against Peru on Tuesday and they wrap up the four-team group against Chile a week on Sunday.

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