Drama as Argentina advances to Copa America semis

Drama as Argentina advances to Copa America semis

Lisandro Martinez's 35th-minute goal looked to have settled Thursday's Copa America quarter-final, but it ended in a penalty shootout.

The penalty shootout, in which Lionel Messi opened the scoring with a miss for Argentina, eventually ended with the South American champions winning 4-2.

Manchester United's Lisandro Martinez scored for Argentina from a corner after 35 minutes with Lionel Messi heading past Alexis Mac Allister before Martinez headed the ball back.

Messi formed Argentina's attacking duo alongside tournament top scorer Lautaro Martinez after there was some uncertainty beforehand over whether Messi would start after a hamstring injury kept him out of Saturday's 2-0 win over Peru.

Lautaro Martinez was also substituted in the second half, and so did not have the chance to add to his scoring tally – he has four goals so far in the tournament.

Veteran Enner Valencia had a chance to equalise for Ecuador from the penalty spot in the 62nd minute, but he hit the post and goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved the rebound.

The drama began when Ecuadorian Kevin Rodriguez equalised 1-1 a minute into extra time. The goal had to undergo a full VAR check before it was upheld. The quarter-finals thus went to a straight shootout.

See also  Virgil van Dijk vs Sadio Mane in the group stage

Lionel Messi was the first to come out for Argentina and burned the penalty. So did Ecuadorian boxer Mina. But since then, Argentina scored four goals in a row and Ecuador failed again, who eventually had to see themselves defeated.

Argentina are the Copa America champions and will meet the winner of the Venezuela-Canada match in the semi-finals.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *