Copa America Quarterfinal HIGHLIGHTS Argentina 3 Ecuador 0: Messi inspires Argentina to a 3-0 win to set up semifinal date with Colombia

Copa America Argentina vs Ecuador HIGHLIGHTS: Follow Sportstar's live coverage of Copa America quarterfinal between Argentina and Ecuador played at the Estádio Olímpico Pedro Ludovico in Goiania.

Argentina captain Lionel Messi had a brilliant game, which consisted of one goal and two assists.   -  AP

Read Sportstar's highlights of the Copa America quarterfinal between Argentina vs Ecuador played at the Estádio Olímpico Pedro Ludovico in Goiania, Brazil.

That's all for today!! Thanks for tuning in!! Goodbye and stay safe!!

Argentina took its time to flourish, but when it did, there was no stopping it.

The 3-0 scoreline doesn't say half of the story because Ecuador did make things quite uncomfortable for the Argentines for the majority part of the match but Lionel Messi, with his two assists and one goal, guided Argentina to a 3-0 win.

MATCH REPORT: Argentina beats Ecuador 3-0 to move into Copa America semi

The second half was more exciting than the first, with Argentina scoring two goals- one by Lautaro Martinez and another by captain Lionel Messi.

WATCH: Highlights from the Copa America quarterfinal clash between Argentina and Ecuador

 

The later stages of the game also saw a red card after Pierro Hincapie, who was the last man, brought down a goal-bound Angel Di Maria just outside the box. The enusing freekick resulted in a Messi goal, which was the cherry on the icing after a brilliant match where he also created the other two goals.

Stay tuned for the match report!!

FULL-TIME (ARGENTINA 3 ECUADOR 0)- ARGENTINA QUALIFIES FOR THE COPA AMERICA SEMIFINALS AND WILL FACE COLOMBIA.

90+4' CHANGE- Sergio Aguero replaces Lautaro Martinez for Argentina.

90+3' GOOOAAALLLLLL!!! MESSI CONVERTS THE FREEKICK!! CHERRY ON THE ICING!! You almost knew that Messi will score from there. He scores his second direct free-kick of the tournament. One goal and two assists- a captain's performance.

90+1' HINCAPIE SEES RED!!

89' Referee checks the monitor and says the challenge was outside the box. ITS A FREEKICK AND NOT A PENALTY AND THIS MEANS HINCAPIE'S YELLOW WILL BE TURNED TO RED.

88' BOOKING- Pierro Hincapie is booked for his challenge on Di Maria inside the box.

88' PENALTY AS DI MARIA IS BROUGHT DOWN INSIDE THE BOX BY HINCAPIE!!

84' GOOOOOAAALLLLLL!!!! LAUTARO SCORES FOR ARGENTINA!! SHOULD BE GAME SET AND MATCH FOR ARGENTINA!! It was a defensive error by Ecuador. A heavy touch allowed Di Maria to get the ball and pass it to Messi, who in turn found Lautaro Martinez. The Inter forward made no mistake with a brilliant top corner finish.

 

83' CHANGES- Leonardo Campana replaces Angelo Preciado for Valencia. Nicolas Tagliafico replaces Nicholas Gonzalez for Argentina.

81' A possible injury concern for Argentina goalkeeper, Emi Martinez, which will be a big blow for Argentina if it turns out to be anything serious. He continues for now.

80' SHOT- Plata with a great run and ultimately a shot from a tight angle, which Martinez sends out for a corner. Meek defending by the Argentina defence.

79' SHOT- Nicholas Gonzalez with another howler of shot, which soars above the Ecuador goal.

78' Nervy moments coming up as the game enters its last phase of play. A little under 15 minutes plus added time left. It hasn't been easy for Argentina.

75' Messi found himself with a free-kick in his preferred territory but he hits the wall. 

74' SHOT- Di Maria finds Messi in space and passes the ball to him, who took a shot on his left. The ball didn't curl enough to trouble Galindez.

71' CHANGE- Guido Rodriguez and Angel Di Maria come on for Leandro Paredes and Giovani Lo Celso.

70' CHANGE- Alan Franco goes out for Moises Caicedo.

68' It is Valencia who is now lying inside the Argentina penalty box claiming he was caught in the face by Acuna. There was nothing there.

67' Valencia's free kick takes a deflection and goes out for another Ecuador corner.

66' BOOKING- Nicholas Gonzalez becomes the second Argentina player to go inside the referee's book.

64' CLOSE- Ecuador takes a shot corner and lashes in a wicked delivery inside the Argentina box. The ball glanced Nicholas Gonzalez's head and whistles past the goal.

62' Tempers flaring after Estupinan seems to have had a go at Paredes' face from an Argentina corner. Both the teams in a tussle inside the box. Argentina players want a penalty but its just a corner.

60' Lot of unnecessary challenges flying around at the moment- nothing unusual from what we have seen during this Copa America.

57' SHOT- Its Valencia posing the threat again. Ecuador work the ball wonderfully inside the Argentina half to set up Valencia with a shot but it was from an acute angle. Martinez's foot was enough to avert danger.

53' Argentina has started the second half much like the first. It is enjoying more of the chances but Ecuador is frustrating the home team.

49' SHOT- Messi with a great penetrating run through the Ecuador half but he was pushed away from goal. He didn't lose possession and found Gonzalez at the edge of the Ecuador penalty area with a dink pass. Gonzalez takes a shot but balloons it high above goal.  He has been wasteful today.

48' Attacking changes at the start of the second half by manager Alfaro, who is usually quite conservative in his approach.

46' ECUADOR HALF-TIME CHANGES- Gonzalo Plata and Michael Estrada in for Diego Palacios and Carlos Gruezo.

SECOND-HALF UNDERWAY!!

Argentina edges the half as the better team but Ecuador has been no pushovers.

With two wonderful chances scuffed, both by captain Valencia, it would feel that it deserves to be at front at half-time. However, it is De Paul's goal, which separates both the teams at the break.

It's going to be an exciting second half. The game is not over by any means.

HALF-TIME!! (ARGENTINA 1 ECUADOR 0)

45+4' BOOKING- Nicholas Otamendi is booked by the referee.

45+2' CHANCE- Argentina's defence goes to sleep as Angel Mena finds captain Valencia with a cross from the right. The unmarked Valencia flashes his header wide off goal. Schoolboy defending by the Argentines.

FOUR MINUTES OF ADDED TIME!!

45' DOUBLE SAVE- Great delivery by Messi into the box, which found Gonzalez's head. After Galindez saved the first header, he got back up quickly to save the rebound shot by Gonzalez again.

44' Great work by Martinez to find Messi from a long-range goal kick. Messi does well to reach and shield the ball from the Ecuador defence but he is brought down. Argentina free kick.

40' GOOAAAALLLLLLL!!!! ARGENTINA SCORES!! ITS RODRIGO DE PAUL!! Lionel Messi was at the heart of the move. He sent away Gonzalez with acres of green in front of him, who in turn was challenged by Galindez. Messi collected the loose ball, found De Paul inside the box, who slotted it inside without any challenge.

 

38' CHANCE- Valencia is inches away from giving the lead to Ecuador as his header flashes past Martinez's goal.

35' Argentina's midfield looks shaky. Ecuador is having an easy time dealing with them.  Scaloni's team lacking stability in the middle of the park.

32' Messi swings in a well-measured free kick but Ecuador gets it away quite comfortbaly.

31' BOOKING- Alan Franco of Ecuador becomes the second player to get booked in the match.

29' Tackles flying all over the place as two Ecuador player slide in for a challenge on Giovanni Lo Celso. Referee stops play but Argentina wanted the advantage.

28' The match has sprung into action and looks more lively now with both teams resorting to an attacking approach.

24' Temperatures flaring up as Argentina is furious with the officials for not stopping the play after a crunching challenge on Molina. Play continued and Ecuador almost scored with a wonderful Mendez volley from a Mena cross. Play is ultimately stopped but Scaloni and his team aren't happy.

23' OFF THE POST- How did Messi miss there? Messi one-on-one with the goalkeeper with all the time in the world but his effort hits the inside of the post and comes back out into play. Huge let off for Ecuador.

20' BOOKING- Preciado sees a yellow card for his late challenge on Gonzalez.

16' NO PENALTY!! JUST A CORNER!!

16' POSSIBLE PENALTY CALL BY ARGENTINA!!! VAR CHECKS!!  It seemed the ball had struck Preciado's hand from a shot by Messi. Referee gave a corner but it is checked by VAR.

14' CHANCE- Lautaro Martinez with a wonderful run behind the defence and was through on goal but it was Arboleda's header, which prevented Alfaro's team from trailing. 

13' Ecuador trying to settle by keeping possession amongst itself. It is passing the ball around in its own half without really doing anything. Argentina seems comfortable letting Ecuador enjoy possession in its own half.

10' Otamendi and Ecuador captain Valencia, in a tussle for the ball where the latter comes off worse. He is currently receiving treatment but it doesn't look anything serious.

7' It has been a one-sided start to the game with Argentina having the lion's share of the chances. Ecuador trying to settle into the match. The visiting team with a direct style of play.

4' The Ecuadorian backline look shaky in the early moments of the match. It has been Argentina with all the questions till now.

2' SHOT- Lautaro Martinez with an early warning shot as he took advantage of a quick pass from the middle of the park and burst through the Ecuadorian half. His shot is saved comfortably by Galindez.

1' KICK-OFF!!

06:30 a.m- AND WE ARE UNDERWAY!!

06:20 a.m- Some Opta Stats for you to glance through before kick-off

  • Argentina has never lost to Ecuador in its 15 meetings at the CONMEBOL Copa América (10 wins, 5 draws). Argentina has scored in 13 of the 15 games but this is the first meeting in the knockout round.
  • Argentina has not conceded against Ecuador in the CONMEBOL Copa América in any of its last 5 meetings (3 wins, 2 draws). In this period Argentina has scored 12 and conceded 2.
  • Ecuador has only lost 1 of their last 5 games in the CONMEBOL Copa América. However, it has not won any of these 5 games with 4 draws (3 consecutively).
  • Argentina is the only team at the CONMEBOL Copa América to have scored directly from a freekick: Lionel Messi scored against Chile on the opening game of the competition
  • Lionel Messi is the player who has completed the most dribbles at the CONMEBOL Copa América (22).

-Opta-

LINEUPS ANNOUNCED!!

Argentina Starting XI (4-3-3): Martinez (GK); Molina, Pezzella, Otamendi, Acuna; Paredes, Lo Celso, De Paul; Messi (C), Gonzalez, Martinez

Ecuador Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Galindez GK); Preciado, Hincapie, Arboleda, Estupinan; Mena, Mendez; Franco; Gruezo; Palacios; Valencia (C) 

Match Preview

Argentina has Lionel Messi, history and form going for it heading into its Copa America quarterfinal against Ecuador on Saturday.

Ecuador has yet to win a match after three draws and a loss, but Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has “maximum respect” for the team coached by his countryman Gustavo Alfaro.

“Ecuador is a dynamic, quick team, which could it make it hard for anyone. They have interesting players,” Scaloni said.

Argentina topped its group with three wins and one draw, and Messi in great shape. The captain scored three goals in the four games while setting a record for most Argentina caps.

Messi, not seemingly distracted by the end of his contract with Barcelona, is benefiting from a team that allows him to be near the penalty box instead of getting the ball farther from the goal.

But Scaloni still has decisions to make before the encounter at Olimpico Stadium in Goiania.

The first is whether defender Cristian Romero, who has pains in his left knee, will play. The coach said Romero's replacement could be Germán Pezzella. There was also a challenge between Nicolás Tagliafico and Marcos Acuña for left-back.

Midfielder Leandro Paredes is expected to play, but Guido Rodríguez could still take his place after good performances.

Ecuador lies third in South American World Cup qualifiers after six matches but has struggled in the Copa America.

“We can't change the past, but we can change the present,” Ecuador midfielder Jhegson Méndez said.

“We don't fear anyone, we are focused on the fact we can make history at Copa America.” Alfaro has been accused in Argentina of being too defensive but a match like Saturday's — when Ecuador will be a heavy underdog — is to his liking.

“Tradition and experience give advantage to Argentina, but another tournament has begun,” Alfaro said.

“It isn't always that the team looking better wins. In this sort of match, those who get it right win, and those who make mistakes lose.” Ecuador has four players recovering from injuries; strikers Enner Valencia and Gonzalo Plata and midfielders Méndez and Moisés Caicedo.

The winner will face Colombia or Uruguay in the semifinals.

Copa America 2021 schedule: Full list of fixtures, kickoff time in IST, venues, where to watch live matches  

WHERE TO WATCH COPA AMERICA 2021 LIVE IN INDIA?

You can watch Copa America 2021 LIVE in India on Sony Ten and Sony Six channels. You can also live streaming the Copa America 2021 in India on SonyLiv and JioTV.