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Argentina Vs Ecuador: How Martínez Saved Messi In 2024 Copa America

Argentina’s national team managed to survive a resilient Ecuadorian side in the quarter-final stage of the ongoing 2024 Copa America.

During the quarter-finals clash at the NRG Stadium in the United States, Lautaro Martínez scored the match opener as early as in the 35th minute. The goal extended his lead in the top scorer chart to 5.

Argentina were expected to build on the opening goal but they couldn’t as the first half ended with a slim lead.

Late in the second half of the encounter, Ecuador staged a comeback which they completed in the 90+1 minutes through the boots of Kevin Rodríguez.

Rodríguez’s goal forced the game to be decided via penalties which Ecuador almost had an edge in after Argentine football icon, Lionel Messi missed the opener.

However, Aston Villa goalkeeper, Emi Martinez came to the rescue of the Argentine team as he saved two of Ecuador’s spot-kicks from Angel Mena and Alan Minda.

Argentina won 4-2 via penalty shootout all thanks to the heroism of Martinez who continues to prove that he is a penalty specialist. He has now saved 12 penalties in the 24 spot-kicks he has faced in his career.

Immediately after the game, the Ecuadorian Football Federation announced that the body had parted ways with the head coach of the national team, Felix Sanchez.

He had three years left on his contract with the national team before he was sacked.

“We thank Felix and his coaching staff for their work and professionalism, and wish him success in his future endeavours,” a statement from the FA reads.

Following their triumph over Ecuador earlier today, July 5, the reigning Copa America champions, Argentina, who have won the tournament 15 times, will play either Venezuela or Canada in the semi-finals.

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