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Argentina v Ecuador: Copa América 2024 quarter-final – live | Copa América


Argentina v Ecuador: Copa América 2024 quarter-final – live | Copa América

02.12 BST

10 min A reminder that there’s no extra time tonight. If Ecuador can keep this goalless for 90 minutes, and that’s the plan, there will be a penalty competition.

Updated at 02.12 BST

02.10 BST

6 min: Chance for Ecuador! Out of nothing, the first opportunity comes for Ecuador. Caicedo makes an excellently timed run beyond the Argentina defence, onto a header from Valencia. By the time he reaches the penalty area he is under pressure from behind and shoots tamely at Martinez.

Updated at 02.11 BST

02.06 BST

4 min “I hope you got to see Messi live, Rob,” says Ruth Purdue. “I didn’t realise how fast he was dribbling till I saw him live. It’s like watch tennis iive, you don’t realise how hard they hit it till you’re in the stadium. Those videos of him made a lot more sense.”

Cricket is great for that; you barely see the ball when somebody like Mark Wood wangs it down.

Updated at 02.06 BST

02.05 BST

3 min Fernandez stabs a promising pass towards Lautaro Martinez, forcing Preciado to come across and sweep up on the edge of the area. Argentina have had all of the ball in the first few minutes.

Updated at 02.05 BST

02.03 BST

3 min There hasn’t been a goal at either end in the first half of Argentina’s games, so don’t be surprised if this takes a little while to get going.

Updated at 02.03 BST

02.02 BST

2 min “In the local pickup soccer group I play in, players bring a white shirt and a dark shirt to facilitate the forming of teams,” writes Peter Oh. “Striped shirts are discouraged, but I’ve noticed that Argentina fans have a creative solution. Show up in the albiceleste shirt for the warm-up, and then turn it inside out to line up for the white team at kickoff.

“Inside Out Argentina. Still looks great (you can see a hint of the famous sky blue), and evokes images of Pixar. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. In other words, Football!!!

“Btw, what do you call ‘pickup soccer’ over there?”

Erm, pickup football?

Updated at 02.02 BST

02.02 BST

1 min Peep peep! Argentina kick off from right to left as we watch. Ecuador are in their very very very very very very very dark blue change strip.

Updated at 02.02 BST

01.58 BST

It’s time for the action. The exit polls are all predicting a big Argentina win; we’ll soon find out.

Updated at 01.58 BST

01.46 BST

The quarter-final line-up

Since you asked, I’m all in on Venezuela.

Updated at 01.46 BST

01.41 BST

“Jesus, Rob!” says Joe Pearson. “Are you an insomniac? I always expect the late night stuff to be Beau Dure, since he’s on this side of the ocean. How on earth did you draw this straw?”

It’s a mildly important night over here, so I was going to be up anyway.

Updated at 01.41 BST

01.19 BST

Team news

Argentina make eight changes, restoring all the first-choice players who were rested for the final group game against Peru. The in-form Lautaro Martinez starts up front with Lionel Messi.

Ecuador make one change from their goalless draw with Mexico: the defensive midfielder Carlos Gruezo replaces the forward Kevin Rodriguez.

Argentina (4-4-2) E Martinez; Molina, Romero, Lisandro Martinez, Tagliafico; De Paul, Mac Allister, Fernandez, Gonzalez; Messi, Lautaro Martinez.
Subs: Armani, Rulli, Otamendi, Pezzella, Acuna, Lucas Martinez, Montiel, Di Maria, Paredes, Rodriguez, Lo Celso, Palacios, Carboni, Alvarez, Garnacho.

Ecuador (4-3-2-1) Dominguez; Preciado, Torres, Pacho, Hincapie; Franco, Gruezo Caicedo; Paez, Sarmiento; Valencia.
Subs: Galindez, Ramirez, Porozo, Hurtado, Loor, Ordonez, Micolta, Mena, Corozo, Cifuentes, Yeboah, Ortiz, Minda, Jordy Caicedo, Rodriguez.

Updated at 01.47 BST

01.00 BST

Rob will be here shortly. In the meantime, here are our power rankings from the tournament so far:

1) Argentina

Winners of all three group stage games, Argentina cruised to the top of Group A over Canada, Chile, and Peru.

They trotted to wins with Lionel Messi in the lineup. But, crucially, they looked dominant without him in their final group match, which he missed through injury. Messi has returned to full training and seems likely to play in the quarters. If not, they could do a whole lot worse than sliding Alejandro Garnacho into the team.

In Messi’s absence, Lautaro Martínez has caught fire. After starting the tournament on the subs bench, Martínez has pushed his way into the starting lineup, scoring four times in three games – including two from the bench.

Moving back a line, Argentina’s midfield is ready to beat you – and they want to shove it in your face. “What I do is pick an enemy,” midfield general Rodrigo De Paul told Telemundo. “Well, let’s say a rival because that doesn’t sound so bad. I look to engage in a dispute that will keep me alert. It’s not just that I want to win. I want to beat you. I make it personal.”

Best of luck to Argentina’s opponents in the knockouts. They’ll need it.

6) Ecuador

Ecuador cut it really, really close. If not for a (correctly) reversed penalty call in their final group stage match against Mexico, there was a real chance they were going to be watching the rest of this tournament from home. But the call was reversed, they picked up a much-needed point, and now they’re in the quarter-finals.

They’ll regret their early collapse against Venezuela when it comes time to play Argentina in the next round instead of the runner-up from Group A. It’s probably one tournament cycle too early for teenage star Kendry Páez to give them a real chance against Argentina, but never say never.

You can read the rest of the rankings here:

Updated at 01.42 BST

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