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

Key events

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 gets to the penalty area he is under pressure from behind and shoots tamely at Martinez.


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.


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.


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.


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 white and blue 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?


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.


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


The quarter-final line-up

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


“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.


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) And Martinez; Molina, Romero, Lisandro Martinez, Tagliafico; De Paul, McAllister, 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.
Cast: Galindez, Ramirez, Porozo, Hurtado, Loor, Ordonez, Micolta, Mena, Corozo, Cifuentes, Yeboah, Ortiz, Minda, Jordy Caicedo, Rodriguez.


Updated at

Hello, good evening and welcome to live coverage of the first quarter-final at the Copa América 2024: the holders, favourites and world champions Argentina v Ecuador. It feels like a foregone conclusion – but then so did all the thousands of shock results that are dotted throughout football history, from Belo Horizonte 1950 to Manizales 2001. That’s why we keep coming back.


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

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