Recital of Messi and Colombia Awaits in Brazil
The Argentine team defeated a combative Ecuador by three goals to zero. Messi, with two assists and a great goal from a free kick, was the great figure.
Argentina started the quarterfinals as usual: overwhelming its rival, in this case, Ecuador. Nicolás Gonzalez on the left side tried, then it was Lautaro Martinez who, after a great pass from Paredes in depth, put Galindez to the test, who responded very well. Alfaro‘s team suffered and only breathed with long balls towards Valencia, which he prolonged for his fast ends to complicate Argentina.
Alfaro sent his men to play long but not go crazy with it, if not that the rebounds fell in the power of the yellows and Valencia attacked the Argentine central line. Pezzella and Otamendi, the center-back pair most used by Scaloni in his short career as a coach, suffered at the start and setback.
And the Fiorentina defender had a clear after a corner kick from Messi. He lowered her chest and hit her with a right hand that hit the side of Galindez‘s net while some members of the substitute bench were already shouting the first goal of the match.
Argentina dominated but in their own field. Alfaro, intelligent in this sense, would let Pezzella free and cut it off for Paredes, so the albiceleste had to look for other exits. And there was a play totally out of the game, a key play, Messi was left alone against Galíndez after a back pass and the Argentine “10” defined too crossed for the ball to stay in the goalkeeper’s left post.
And from the Argentine chance, to the Ecuadorian court. The game was tense, a hard tackle on Molina that Sampaio did not charge ended in a shot by Mendez to which Emi Martinez responded with category. Scaloni was going crazy on the substitute bench and the fourth official had to calm him down. With no time to calm down, Mendez and Palma collided with each other and infringed Lo Celso, but Lautaro Martínez on the rebound was completely alone, to which Sampaio ignored and the game heated up more and more.
After the half hour of meeting, the only protagonist of this match was Wilton Sampaio. The Brazilian was the only one who complicated a quiet game with his bad decisions. Argentina, despite this, kept trying to take control of the game, which it could not. Ecuador, when it was planted in three quarters of attack, moved the ball well and this time it ended with a great center that Valencia and Palma could not reach. Argentina was saved.
The game had a frenetic pace. It was stick and stick. Ecuador, with mistakes behind, was punished. And Messi forgives you once, but he does not forgive you twice. A great pass for Nico Gonzalez ended in a violation by Galíndez but this time Sampaio did give the law of advantage so that Messi, very intelligent, would look for De Paul so that the Udinese man could define calmly and score the first goal of the match, for that Scaloni shouted it with everything in the technical area and the former Racing added his first goal with the albiceleste shirt.
Gonzalez was still spicy but Galindez saved Ecuador once more. The new Fiorentina player headed a Messi free kick masterfully and the goalkeeper saved his team twice. Ecuador was hit by the Argentine goal but in an isolated play, it created danger. Valencia beat Otamendi for the umpteenth time before going to find the center. The forward headed outside and Otamendi was booked for protesting. Thus ended the first half of the game, which had no brake.
Alfaro gave more air to his team at the beginning of the complement with the entry of Plata and Estrada. But Lo Celso gave something different to Argentina when it was released and that was taken advantage of by those of Scaloni. Argentina was trying to slow down the game while Ecuador was interested in making it agitated, in addition to trying to take advantage of the stopped ball, where it created more danger.
Enner Valencia was a constant danger for the Argentine central duo, who could not stop the forward, while Ecuador continued his game almost at the limit of the regulation and Estupiñán put his body in front of a Messi who was beaten on the ground. At that moment it was Estupiñán’s fifth foul of the ten that Alfaro’s team had made.
Sampaio continued with the same dynamics of the first half and heated the meeting with his decisions. Inside the area Paredes fell and the Argentines threw themselves on top of the referee, who charged a neutral boat, from which Messi tried to make magic with a hat.
But at stopped ball Ecuador almost tied the game, with a very dangerous deflection from Nico González, who almost got into the corner. The former Argentinos Juniors with a kick from behind to Plata became the second admonished.
Scaloni saw his team turned off, as it happens in all second halves of the Argentine team and put Guido Rodríguez and Angel Di Maria, so Leandro Paredes left the court, a surprise and Lo Celso.