Copa America 2024: What happened when Argentina last played Ecuador?

Ecuador, in a bid to make the semifinals, will have to climb a mountain in the form of Argentina when it faces the defending champion on July 4 in the Copa America 2024 quarterfinals at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

While the La Tri did well to finish as runners-up in Group B — after defeating Jamaica and drawing against Mexico — it will have its work cut out against the Argentines, especially when its recent memories against the World Champion aren’t pleasant.

The last time the two sides met was weeks before the 2024 edition of the Copa America. On June 9, Ecuador narrowly lost 0-1 to Argentina in an International Friendly match, that was held in Chicago at the Soldier Field Stadium.

The match’s tone was set quite early in the game when Moises Caicedo slid in with a crunching tackle on Lautaro Martinez, the Argentine forward, who is topping the scoring charts in the ongoing tournament with four goals.

In the 26th minute, it was Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez who had come close to scoring. Angel Di Maria had whipped in a ball inside the Ecuadorian box from a freekick, which found its way to the diminutive centre-back after Willian Pacho failed to clear the lines. Martinez then, on the turn, thumped a shot towards goal, prompting a point-blank save from goalkeeper Hernan Galindez.

It was in the 40th minute when a Cristian Romero pass found an oncoming Di Maria on the right flank, who rolled the ball in the net past a sliding Galindez.

Ecuador would have conceded at the very fag end of the game when substitute Nicolas Gonzalez tried to chip the goalie. However, Galindez stood his ground, parrying the attempt away.

This loss, Ecuador’s 24th against the La Albiceleste, certainly will play in the back of Felix Sanchez’s men when they take the field against Argentina on Thursday, especially when Lionel Messi is poised to start the game.

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