ALISTAIR JOHNSTON will take on Lionel Messi for the second time in 18 days when Canada face Argentina in the Copa America semi-final on Tuesday night.

The Celtic right-back and his international team-mates booked their place in the last four against the world champions after a dramatic 4-3 penalty kick shoot-out win over Venezuela.

Over 50,000 fans turned out in Arlington to watch the Canadians earn a 1-1 stalemate against the much-fancied opponents.

Ismael Kone fired in the deciding spot-kick to send the surprise packets within one game of the Final.

BRING ON ARGENTINA…Alistair Johnston (extreme left) with his victorious Canadian team-mates.

Jacob Shaffelburg gave them a 13th minute lead, but that was wiped out by Salomon Rondón’s equaliser just after the hour mark.

Then came the spot-kick showdown with the Hoops defender a spectator as Kone tucked away the decider.

Now Johnston and Co are heading for the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Tuesday for an intriguing duel with the South Americans who beat them 2-0 in the opening group stage in the competition last month.

The world’s No.1 also had to battle through a penalty-kick shoot-out to overcome Ecuador in their quarter-final after the match finished 1-1.

The world superstars won 4-2 on penalties, despite Messi missing from 12 yards when he clattered the crossbar with a failed attempt at a Panenka.


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