July 3 (UPI) -- Lionel Messi has once again failed to win a major international title, this time watching his Argentina squad fall 2-0 to Brazil at the 2019 Copa America.
Manchester City star Gabriel Jesus and Liverpool's Roberto Firmino scored goals for Brazil in the semifinal victory Tuesday in Belo Horizonte. Brazil now awaits the winner of the Chile and Peru semifinal, to see which squad it plays in the Copa America final this weekend.
Argentina turned the ball over in its own half during Brazil's first score. Firmino collected the ball in the box and fired a pass to the far post, finding Jesus for a point-blank score in the 19th minute.
Brazil added to its lead in the 71st minute after foiling a Messi-led Argentina attack. Jesus collected the ball and started a breakaway by dribbling past midfield, racing past several defenders before reaching the box. The Sky Blues star then grounded a perfect pass to Firmino, who stabbed the ball with his right boot to beat keeper Franco Armani.
Messi criticized the referees after the loss.
"[They] were tired of making [expletive] calls at this Copa and they didn't go to VAR. It was unbelievable," Messi told reporters.
"It was like that all match. It was [expletive] that they were doing it all match. There is no excuse -- it must be looked into. Hopefully, CONMEBOL does something about these kind of referees.
"Because we did everything to try and advance but [the referees] stacked the deck against us. I don't believe they will do anything because Brazil controls everything, so it is very complicated. But I don't think we should feel bad for anything. It didn't happen and we had bad luck."
Brazil takes on Chile or Peru in the final at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.