Emi Martínez stars as Argentina beat Ecuador on penalties at Copa América

Quarter-final: Argentina 1-1 Ecuador (4-2 pens)Lionel Messi missed Panenka at start of shootout

The holders Argentina advanced to the Copa America semi-finals, beating Ecuador 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw in Texas.

Lionel Messi missed Argentina’s first penalty but was reprieved by goalkeeper Emi Martínez, who saved Ecuador’s first two efforts.

Lisandro Martínez had given Argentina the lead 10 minutes before half-time, but Kevin Rodríguez equalised with a superb header in injury time at the end of the second half.

Ecuador’s captain Enner Valencia had earlier hit the post from the penalty spot after a handball by Rodrigo De Paul.

With Argentina going first in the shootout, Messi tried a Panenka and hit the crossbar.

Martínez, the goalkeeper in Argentina’s shootout win over France in the 2022 World Cup final, then saved kicks from Ángel Mena and Alan Minda.

Julián Álvarez and Alexis Mac Allister converted to put Argentina ahead 2-0, and after John Yeboah, Gonzalo Montiel and Jordy Caicedo all scored, Nicolas Otamendi struck the winning penalty.

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