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Copa America: Messi Misses Penalty As Argentina Beat Ecuador To Reach Semi-finals

Copa America: Messi Misses Penalty As Argentina Beat Ecuador To Reach Semi-finals

Argentina defeated Ecuador 4-2 on penalties to qualify for the semi-finals of the Copa America on Thursday night.

Lionel, who was the first to step up for the penalties missed his effort but Emiliano Martinez made two saves in the shootout following a 1-1 draw in regulation time.

Lisandro Martinez gave holders Argentina the lead in the 35th minute when Alexis Mac Allister’s headed flick-on found the defender at the far post and he nodded home his first international goal.

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Ecuador turned up the pressure in the second half and it paid off at a corner on the hour mark when the cross was deflected onto Rodrigo De Paul’s hand and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.

Skipper Enner Valencia stepped up and sent Martinez the wrong way but Ecuador’s top scorer saw his effort come off the post before Argentina defender Cristian Romero blocked a shot from the rebound.

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

Despite Messi’s penalty miss, Martinez emerged the hero as he made two crucial saves before Nicolas Otamendi scored the decisive kick to book a semi-final spot.

Credit: REUTERS


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