Argentina knocks out Ecuador

Argentina advance to the semi-finals of the Copa America after being Ecuador 3-0 in their clash at the Olímpico Pedro Ludovico. Rodrigo de Paul opened the scoring in the first half with his first international goal. The Albiceleste had to be patient in the second half, but late efforts from Lautaro Martinez and Lionel Messi secured the win to send them into the last four. Ecuador battled hard, but lacked the quality before defender Piero Hincapie ended his tournament on a low note by receiving a red card.

‘He gives us confidence and joy’ – Messi dazzles with Copa America quarter-final free kick against Ecuador

(Dan Bernstein)

Lionel Messi scored a free kick to cap his excellent performance in a 3-0 victory over Ecuador on Saturday in the Copa America quarter-finals, drawing effusive praise from his team-mates.

The forward also assisted twice – once without looking at his target as he made the pass – in a Man of the Match effort that prompted Nico Gonzalez to say the entire squad draws “confidence and joy” from his play.

Argentina will play Colombia in the final four on Tuesday.

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