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Argentina beat Ecuador on penalties to move into Copa America semis

Argentina beat Ecuador on penalties to move into Copa America semis

Friday, July 05, 2024, 10:37 GMT+7
Argentina beat Ecuador on penalties to move into Copa America semis
Soccer Football - Copa America 2024 - Quarter Final - Argentina v Ecuador - NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas, United States - July 4, 2024 Argentina's Lionel Messi and Lisandro Martinez celebrate after winning the penalty shootout. Photo: Reuters

HOUSTON, Texas -- Argentina beat Ecuador 4-2 on penalties to move into the semi-finals of the Copa America on Thursday after goalkeeper Emi Martinez made two saves for the reigning champions in the shootout following a 1-1 draw in regulation time.

Lionel Messi allayed concerns about a hamstring injury to start the game and in the 35th minute the captain's corner was flicked on by Alexis Mac Allister for Lisandro Martinez to score with a header to give Argentina a 1-0 lead.

Soccer Football - Copa America 2024 - Quarter Final - Argentina v Ecuador - NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas, United States - July 4, 2024 Argentina's Emiliano Martinez reacts during the penalty shootout. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football - Copa America 2024 - Quarter Final - Argentina v Ecuador - NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas, United States - July 4, 2024 Argentina's Emiliano Martinez reacts during the penalty shootout. Photo: Reuters

Ecuador skipper Enner Valencia hit the post from the penalty spot before Kevin Rodriguez scored a stoppage-time equaliser to force the shootout. There is no extra time in Copa America knockout games apart from the final.

Soccer Football - Copa America 2024 - Quarter Final - Argentina v Ecuador - NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas, United States - July 4, 2024 Argentina's Lisandro Martinez scores their first goal. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football - Copa America 2024 - Quarter Final - Argentina v Ecuador - NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas, United States - July 4, 2024 Argentina's Lisandro Martinez scores their first goal. Photo: Reuters

In the shootout, Messi clipped the crossbar with Argentina's first effort but Martinez saved Ecuador's first two spot-kicks before Nicolas Otamendi scored the decisive penalty to book a semi-final spot. Argentina will next play either Venezuela or Canada.

Soccer Football - Copa America 2024 - Quarter Final - Argentina v Ecuador - NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas, United States - July 4, 2024 Argentina's Julian Alvarez scores a penalty during the penalty shootout. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football - Copa America 2024 - Quarter Final - Argentina v Ecuador - NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas, United States - July 4, 2024 Argentina's Julian Alvarez scores a penalty during the penalty shootout. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football - Copa America 2024 - Quarter Final - Argentina v Ecuador - NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas, United States - July 4, 2024 Argentina's Lionel Messi in action. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football - Copa America 2024 - Quarter Final - Argentina v Ecuador - NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas, United States - July 4, 2024 Argentina's Lionel Messi in action. Photo: Reuters

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