Despite initial concerns about a hamstring injury, Lionel Messi started the game and made an impact early on. In the 35th minute, his corner was flicked on by Alexis Mac Allister, allowing Lisandro Martinez to head home and give Argentina a 1-0 lead.

The tension of the penalty shootout. Emiliano Martinez, Argentina’s goalkeeper, reacts to a missed penalty by Ecuador’s Enner Valencia. The match ended 1-1, leading to a thrilling shootout to decide the quarter-final encounter.

The game was not without its drama as Ecuador’s skipper, Enner Valencia, struck the post from the penalty spot, and Kevin Rodriguez scored a last-gasp equalizer to force the game to a shootout. With no extra time in Copa America knockout games, except the final, the pressure was on for both teams.

Lisandro Martinez celebrates after scoring the opening goal for Argentina, giving them an early lead in the match. His header, assisted by Messi and Mac Allister, set the tone for a thrilling encounter.

In a tense shootout, Messi’s first attempt clipped the crossbar, but Argentina’s goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez, saved Ecuador’s first two spot-kicks. Nicolas Otamendi then stepped up to score the winning penalty, securing Argentina’s place in the semi-finals. They will face either Venezuela or Canada in the next round.

Julian Alvarez of Argentina confidently steps up to take his penalty during the shootout, showing his composure and skill under pressure.

Lionel Messi, the captain of Argentina, showcases his talent and influence during the match. His presence and performance were pivotal in Argentina’s victory.
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