Argentina beat Ecuador live updates (2024)

Follow live reaction to Argentina’s 4-2 penalty shootout victory over Ecuador after a 1-1 Copa America draw

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Michael Dominski

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Luke Brown·Managing Editor, News

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Argentina beat Ecuador on penalties

Lionel Messi missed from the spot after a late Ecuador equalizer took their Copa America quarterfinal against Argentina to penalties — but goalkeeper Emi Martinez helped to spare his blushes in a dramatic 4-2 shootout victory.

Argentina took the lead in the first half through Lisandro Martinez and the reigning Copa America and World Cup champions appeared to be coasting to victory.

But Kevin Rodriguez scored a stoppage-time equaliser to force the shootout, after captain Enner Valencia had earlier hit the post from the penalty spot.

There was shock when Messi missed the first spot kick of the shootout, but Martinez then made two saves before Nicolas Otamendi scored the decisive penalty to book a semifinal spot. Argentina will next play either Venezuela or Canada on Tuesday.

GO FURTHERArgentina wins penalty shootout to reach semifinals, Messi misses from spot
July 5, 2024 at 1:10 AM EDTLaura Williamson·Editor in Chief, The Athletic

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How the penalty shootout unfolded

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Argentina were seconds away from a place in the semifinals, having not conceded a goal in the group stage at Copa America, and then Kevin Rodriguez struck to take this match to penalties. Step forward Emi Martinez, this is your time…

  • Argentina 0-0 Ecuador. Missed! Messi tried a Panenka but hit the top of the crossbar.
  • Argentina 0-0 Ecuador. Saved! Angel Mena denied by Emi Martinez.
  • Argentina 1-0 Ecuador. Scored! Julian Alvarez with a powerful right-foot shot into the top corner.
  • Argentina 1-0 Ecuador. Saved! Alan Minda saw his effort saved by Martinez.
  • Argentina 2-0 Ecuador. Scored! Alexis Mac Allister was the epitome of composed.
  • Argentina 2-1 Ecuador. Scored! John Yeboah with a powerful finish.
  • Argentina 3-1 Ecuador. Scored! No hesitation from Gonzalo Montiel.
  • Argentina 3-2 Ecuador. Scored! Jordy Caicedo squeaked it past Martinez. Just.
  • Argentina 4-2 Ecuador. Scored! Nicolas Otamendi puts Argentina in the semifinals!
GO FURTHERArgentina wins penalty shootout to reach semifinals, Messi misses from spot

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July 5, 2024 at 1:00 AM EDTPaul Tenorio·Senior Writer, MLS

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How did Messi perform in his return from injury?

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Ecuador will feel it did a pretty good job controlling Messi through the first 45 minutes. He did not look limited physically at all after missing the group finale but after a half hour, he had just 11 touches in the game. Every time Messi floated wide to try to get on the ball in space, Ecuador closed down with multiple defenders. They weren’t going to let him hide near the touchline to find space.

In the next five minutes, however, Messi showed that all he needs is the smallest space and a couple of touches to change the game. In the 34th minute, he played a beautiful ball through to Enzo Fernandez that led to a chance for the Chelsea man only for the shot to be blocked and go out for a corner. One minute later, Messi served in that corner kick and it was flicked on by Alexis Mac Allister and finished at the far post by Lisandro Martinez. And just like that it was 1-0 Argentina.

GO FURTHERArgentina wins penalty shootout to reach semifinals, Messi misses from spot
July 5, 2024 at 12:50 AM EDTPaul Tenorio·Senior Writer, MLS

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Valencia's tournament to forget

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The veteran striker had an unbelievable tournament at the World Cup in Qatar, scoring three goals in three games. This Copa América was, uh, less memorable.

Valencia picked up a red card for a ruthlessly high boot just 20 minutes into Ecuador’s tournament opener against Venezuela, leaving his team shorthanded for the majority of a 2-1 loss. Valencia then picked up a yellow card half an hour into Thursday’s game for a foul on Mac Allister.

But it was Valencia’s penalty attempt in the 62nd minute that hurt the most. With Emiliano Martinez diving the opposite way, Valencia didn’t make full contact with his shot, a weak effort that rolled off the left post and bounced wide.

It was an awkward-looking penalty that seemed almost like Valencia was trying so hard to read the goalkeeper’s dive that he failed to hit the ball with any conviction at all, wasting Ecuador’s best chance to draw level with Argentina.

GO FURTHERArgentina wins penalty shootout to reach semifinals, Messi misses from spot
July 5, 2024 at 12:40 AM EDTFelipe Cardenas·Staff Writer, US Soccer

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Was Messi going for an Olimpico?

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Messi has won everything. He’s scored hundreds of goals across several continents. But he still hasn’t scored directly from a corner kick.

Termed an Olimpico, Messi appeared to be going for the elusive goal when his venomous service from the corner flag screamed towards Ecuador’s near post. Argentina midfielder Alexis Mac Allister reacted quickly and flicked Messi’s cross across the goalmouth. Lisando Martinez, unmarked at the far post, calmly headed the ball into the net to score his first goal for Argentina.

It was also the first time at this tournament that the defending champions had scored in the first half. It needed Messi’s service from wide areas, and a dead ball, for Argentina to break the deadlock.

GO FURTHERArgentina wins penalty shootout to reach semifinals, Messi misses from spot
July 5, 2024 at 12:30 AM EDTFelipe Cardenas·Staff Writer, US Soccer

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Was tonight's pitch any better than previous ones?

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Emi Martinez described the Mercedes-Benz Stadium pitch in Atlanta as “a disaster.” It certainly was not a surprising assessment from the outspoken Aston Villa goalkeeper.

Houston’s NRG Stadium, another domed NFL arena, didn’t play much better. It was fast and choppy. The ball bounced unpredictably, whether it was a short ball played laterally or off a long diagonal pass, while stripes of turf were clearly visible on television coverage.

Argentina’s players seemed to struggle more with the conditions of the pitch than Ecuador did. Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has refused to discuss the pitch conditions after his scathing review after Argentina’s 2-0 win over Canada in Atlanta. He’ll have to hold back again if asked about Houston’s playing surface.

GO FURTHERArgentina wins penalty shootout to reach semifinals, Messi misses from spot
July 5, 2024 at 12:20 AM EDTPaul Tenorio·Senior Writer, MLS

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How Ecuador tried to contain Argentina

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Through the first 30 minutes, Ecuador had fairly good control of the game. Messi had been limited to just 11 touches, mostly because Ecuador was pressing higher than expected and finding success cutting off service to Argentina’s attacking players.

On the ball, Ecuador was pushing quickly up the field, especially through the left side and Jeremy Sarmiento. Ecuador created a turnover near midfield in just the sixth minute, with Moisés Caicedo only managing a weak shot as four Argentina defenders converged in the box. Then, Sarmiento got a great look at goal in the 15th minute after beating Nahuel Molina.

Ecuador’s pressure and ability to recover defensively left Argentina with few answers. They struggled to find their midfielders in dangerous places and looked mostly to the wings to try to create chances. It’s what made Argentina’s corner such a devastating blow. Ecuador had been effective at limiting Argentina, only to see a set piece change the game.

GO FURTHERArgentina wins penalty shootout to reach semifinals, Messi misses from spot

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July 5, 2024 at 12:09 AM EDTMichael Dominski·Live Reporter

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Scaloni: 'I didn't have a good time'

In a reflection of how close Argentina came to being eliminated from Copa America, Scaloni added: "This time I didn't enjoy anything. We're happy, of course, but I didn't have a good time this time."

July 5, 2024 at 12:07 AM EDTMichael Dominski·Live Reporter

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Lionel Scaloni: 'Our team always reacts'

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Speaking after Argentina's win, Lionel Scaloni had praise for both Ecuador and his players: "We faced a very difficult team, very tough physically. We could have scored more goals in the first half. The second half was difficult, cut short.

"I'm happy for (goalscorer) Lisandro (Martinez), he played a good game. He was tired and I decided to take care of him (with his substitution).

"Our team is strong. At times they subdued us, but our team always reacts, regardless of whether we play well or badly.

"In the penalties, the team felt a blind trust in their goalkeeper. He is indispensable. When he saves penalties, it reverberates in the stadium."

July 4, 2024 at 11:58 PM EDTFelipe Cardenas·Staff Writer, US Soccer

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Argentina with an all-time escape

Argentina played their worst game of the tournament and still advanced on penalties. From the stands, it felt like we watched the defending champions die and then come back to life.

July 4, 2024 at 11:53 PM EDTMichael Dominski·Live Reporter

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'Martinez is a cheat code'

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Emi Martinez, the hero of Argentina's penalty-shootout victory, has received plenty of praise on our discussion page.

Argentina supporter Matan P.: Martinez is a cheat code in penalty shootouts. He is absolutely unbelievable. Julian Alvarez also has some stones, sticking his penalty in the top corner. As for the game, Ecuador were massive, we were objectively terrible.

Meanwhile, plenty of other subscribers had intense reactions to the chance Jordy Caicedo missed in stoppage time that surely would have won the game for Ecuador.

Daniel S.: Damn that header goes in and I would have been screaming

James F: Jordy Caicedo couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. In the ocean.

GO FURTHEREmiliano Martinez: Hated by opponents, loved by Argentina, endlessly entertaining
July 4, 2024 at 11:45 PM EDTMichael Dominski·Live Reporter

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Updated knockout bracket

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The Athletic

Well! After that thrilling penalty shootout, we have the identity of our first semifinalist. Argentina will travel to MetLife Stadium and await the winner of Friday's quarterfinal between Venezuela and Canada.

You can see the full bracket here.

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July 4, 2024 at 11:40 PM EDTMichael Dominski·Live Reporter

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Ecuador succeeded in stifling Messi

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Ecuador limited Lionel Messi to just 32 touches tonight, his fewest in a competitive game in which he played the full 90 minutes for Argentina since 2011.

July 4, 2024 at 11:37 PM EDTMichael Dominski·Live Reporter

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Lisandro Martinez on his first goal for Argentina

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Lisandro Martinez, who scored his first career international goal tonight, became the first Argentina defender to score at Copa America since Victor Cuesta did so against Bolivia in the 2016 group stage.

As you can see from the graphic above, he also completed 100 percent of the 45 passes he attempted before coming off in the 78th minute.

After Argentina's victory, he said: "I'm incredibly excited to have scored my first goal with this jersey. (Assistant coach) Walter (Samuel) told me that on the first corner kick I had to go to the far post and so I did."

July 4, 2024 at 11:32 PM EDTMichael Dominski·Live Reporter

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Emi Martinez: 'I wasn't ready to go home'

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Emi Martinez also spoke after Argentina's penalty-shootout win: "They made it very difficult for us. They played a great game, very physical. We knew they were going to be one of the toughest opponents in the cup.

"I wasn't ready to go home. This group deserved to go on.

"I work to do this. I dive 500 times per training session. We have to give our best because the people deserve it."

July 4, 2024 at 11:28 PM EDTMichael Dominski·Live Reporter

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De Paul: Emi Martinez is an animal in goal

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Rodrigo De Paul praised the performance of goalkeeper Emi Martinez after Argentina's win: “We have an animal in goal. What he is doing is crazy. He deserves it. He loves these colors. He gives us a lot of security and peace of mind.”

July 4, 2024 at 11:26 PM EDTMichael Dominski·Live Reporter

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Instant reaction to Argentina's dramatic win

Argentina have reached the semifinals of Copa America but had an almighty scare in the process.

Felipe Cardenas and Paul Tenorio have dissected the key talking points from NRG Stadium, including:

  • How this back-and-forth game was won
  • Messi's performance coming back from injury
  • Enner Valencia's tournament to forget
  • Finally a first-half goal for Argentina…was Messi going for an Olimpico?
  • The rough and bumpy pitch
  • How Ecuador tried to contain Argentina

Follow the link below to check out their breakdown!

GO FURTHERArgentina wins penalty shootout to reach semifinals, Messi misses from spot

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July 4, 2024 at 11:21 PM EDTMichael Dominski·Live Reporter

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Emi Martinez, penalty shootout master

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Argentina have now won four straight penalty shootouts since Emi Martinez became their first-choice goalkeeper:

  • 2021 Copa America semifinal vs Colombia
  • 2022 World Cup quarterfinal vs Netherlands
  • 2022 World Cup final vs France
  • 2024 Copa America quarterfinal vs Ecuador
July 4, 2024 at 11:18 PM EDTStuart James·Football Writer

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Ecuador had a golden chance

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Hard not to feel for Ecuador, who finished the game really strongly and had that golden chance deep in stoppage time, when Jordy Caicedo had to score with his header from six yards out. That moment will probably haunt them more than the penalty shootout.

July 4, 2024 at 11:16 PM EDTJack Lang·Football Writer

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Argentina get it done, again

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Penalties. Nothing like 'em. For just a moment there, it seemed like Lionel Messi would be the story, and for once not in the all-conquering-hero sense. Then along came Emiliano Martinez, disco dancing and dumping Ecuador out of the tournament.

The celebrations are wild. This isn't very scientific but there is just something about this Argentina team. They just know how to get it done.

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Argentina beat Ecuador live updates (2024)

FAQs

Argentina beat Ecuador live updates? ›

Messi remains scoreless during Copa America

Messi has played in three of four matches and has failed to score during this Copa América. Although Messi has one assist, he has orchestrated at least three of Argentina's five goals (both against Canada and one against Ecuador) during the tournament.

Did Messi score in Copa America 2024? ›

Messi remains scoreless during Copa America

Messi has played in three of four matches and has failed to score during this Copa América. Although Messi has one assist, he has orchestrated at least three of Argentina's five goals (both against Canada and one against Ecuador) during the tournament.

Has Ecuador ever beaten Argentina? ›

But as the game went into stoppage time Ecuador, who have never beaten Argentina at the Copa America, found the equaliser when John Yeboah whipped in a cross and Rodriguez stayed onside to direct a header past Martinez in the 91st minute.

Who missed the penalty for Argentina vs Ecuador? ›

Lionel Messi missed from the spot after a late Ecuador equalizer took their Copa America quarterfinal against Argentina to penalties — but goalkeeper Emi Martinez helped to spare his blushes in a dramatic 4-2 shootout victory.

Is Argentina out of the Copa America 2024? ›

Argentina through to the semis! Argentina has survived yet another penalty shootout as it beats Ecuador 4-2 on penalties to book its place in the Copa America 2024 semifinals.

Who is favored in the Copa America 2024? ›

Lionel Messi and Argentina became the lone favorites to win it all after defeating Ecuador 4-2 on penalty kicks on Thursday. After eliminating Ecuador, Argentina's odds shortened to -120 from +110. Behind Argentina on the oddsboard is Uruguay at +250, after defeating Brazil.

Will Messi play Copa America 2024? ›

Lionel Messi and Argentina have advanced to the semifinals of the Copa America 2024. Here's who they will face in their next game of the tournament. The Copa America 2024 has its first semifinalist as Lionel Messi and Argentina have advanced to the next round of the competition.

What is the biggest defeat in Argentina history? ›

Heaviest Defeats
#DateResult
1Mar 27, 20186:1
2Apr 1, 20096:1
3Jun 15, 19586:1
4Sep 5, 19930:5
1 more row

Has Ecuador ever beat Brazil? ›

Following the appointment of Hernán Darío Gómez for their 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign, Ecuador recorded a historic 1–0 win against Brazil. A 5–1 win over Bolivia saw la Tricolor only needing a point to qualify for the World Cup.

Has Ecuador ever won a World Cup? ›

The Ecuador national football team has appeared at four FIFA World Cups, the world's premier football tournament for national football teams. Ecuador's first participation in the World Cup was in 2002. Their best performance was in 2006, where they were eliminated in the round of 16.

Did Messi lose the penalty? ›

Lionel Messi missed his penalty in the shootout. (CNN) — Goalkeeper Emi Martínez was the hero for Argentina as La Albiceleste reached the Copa América semifinals with a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Ecuador following a 1-1 draw.

Who kicked the winning penalty for Argentina? ›

Lionel Messi put Argentina's first penalty kick off the crossbar but goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez saved Ecuador's first two attempts in the shootout and Nicolás Otamendi beat Alexander Domínguez with the winning kick.

Who missed the penalty for Brazil? ›

Fabrizio Romano - Douglas Luiz and Éder Militão missed penalties for Brazil and they're out of the competition. Facebook.

Why is Ecuador not hosting Copa America 2024? ›

The 2024 Copa América had been expected to be hosted by Ecuador due to CONMEBOL's host rotation order. However, CONMEBOL president Alejandro Domínguez said Ecuador had been nominated but not yet chosen to organize the edition. In November 2022, the country declined to host the tournament.

Has Messi scored in Copa America 2024? ›

In three matches for Argentina at the Copa America 2024, Messi is yet to score. He has made one assist. Meanwhile, Ronaldo, who has 130 international goals, hasn't managed a goal at Euro 2024.

How long has Argentina won Copa America? ›

Argentina: 15 titles; 14 runners-up. Uruguay: 15 titles; six runners-up. Brazil: Nine titles; 12 runners-up.

Who will host Copa 2024? ›

The tournament is being held in the United States from June 20 to July 14, 2024, and is co-organized by CONCACAF. All statistics correct as of July 6, 2024. This is the second time that the United States is hosting the tournament, having hosted the Copa América Centenario in 2016. Argentina is the defending champion.

Where will the 2028 Copa América be held? ›

At the time of writing, the Copa America in June and July 2028 is slated to be in Paraguay as part of the South American confederation's (CONMEBOL) rotation policy for tournaments.

Is Canada in Copa America 2024? ›

Canada is one of 16 teams competitng in the 2024 Copa America, the latest major step for a program on the rise. Check out all the scores and coverage right here on Sportsnet.ca.

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