Argentina’s record 16th Copa America chase continues following a brilliant finish with the Quarter-Finals win via penalties v Ecuador

by Sports Benches

July 4 may have taken place today in the US but that doesn’t mean soccer can’t be played without them when Copa America began the knockout stages in the first of the four Quarter-Finals at the same time between Argentina v Ecuador at NRG Stadium in Texas. It was almost a quiet game for a start when Argentina took the early lead off a successful in the first 45 minutes where they led 1-0 before Ecuador gave themselves a lifeline that held them back a bit longer thanks to substitute left winger Keven Rodriguez just minutes towards the end of normal time (90 mins) as this match isn’t over just yet.

Although both teams were unable to break the equaliser over the next extra half-hour, but at the end of the day, one winner has to advance into the semis while the other will have to pack their bags back home early. The winner belongs to Argentina following a 4-2 penalty win where their supporters went wild while they got the share with the Americans on their birthday as a whole nation. Now Argentina’s US tour continues to New Jersey now at MetLife Stadium in five days time (Wednesday 10AM AEST) – the home of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Final as it will either be Venezuela or Canada now in Quarter-Final match No.2 where one of them will go on to take on Argentina come tomorrow 10 AM also within Texas but this time at AT&T Stadium.

Heartbreak for Ecuador where they were so fortunate enough to keep the game alive until the very end but there were a few missed opportunities that could’ve seen them advance into the semis instead of the Argentineans. Yes, they weren’t bad to get the ball rolling but it was simply their poor executions that came back to bit them such as that back-to-back mis-timed shots on goal including that early 2nd half penalty before more & more of these hit and misses made it so easy for Argentina to put the ball away from the in-goal at the sudden death shootout – which ultimately confirmed their elimination from the last 8 yet again over their last 3 out of 4 campaigns. It would’ve been about three decades now since their last semi-final there on home soil back in 1993 if they did win v Argentina as Ecuador will have to try again next time for the next Copa America in 2028.

Meanwhile, congratulations to Argentina with the brilliant win after they escaped the threat of Ecuador unscathed via penalties. Great to hear they’ve got the lead early while trying to hold out until at least the end of normal time (90 mins or 100 mins you would like to call it these days) for the win but then those plans were held back by Ecuador last minute when Argentina could’ve done better to cash in on the opposition’s hit and miss attempts such as scoring 2-0 or 3-0 in order to give themselves a bit of an early mark ahead of the semis. But they’ve did well however to bring this game to a close where Argentina was always good to in penalties like we’ve seen in the past – such as their 3rd World Cup trophy after a long 36 years (1986) wait two years ago v 2 x champions France in Qatar. Now with Lionel Messi sticking around for a bit longer following his post-World Cup triumph pledge, let’s see if Argentina will go one step closer once again to try & defend their crown from 2021 for the record 16th time as this next contest wouldn’t be that difficult either way en route to the Final.

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