“I was very angry because I was persuaded to do it that way” – Lionel Messi on the missed Panenka penalty in Copa America

“I was very angry because I was persuaded to do it that way” – Lionel Messi on the missed Panenka penalty in Copa America

Lionel Messi returned to action for Argentina against Ecuador

Argentina captain Lionel Messi has revealed his annoyance at having failed to convert from the spot in his team’s penalty shootout win at Copa America on Thursday (July 4). La Albiceleste overcame Ecuador 4-2 on penalties after playing out a 1-1 draw at the end of 90 minutes.

World champions Argentina finished top of Group A with a 100% record, conceding zero goals in the group stages of their Copa America title defense. Just before the start of the quarterfinals, it was revealed that there were no provisions for extra-time after level matches, and they would go straight to penalties.

Facing an Ecuador side they had faced and defeated days ahead of the tournament, Argentina looked far from their best, at times. They had Lionel Messi back in their ranks after he missed the final group game through injury but struggled to win.

Ecuador managed to nick a late equalizer to take the match to penalties, where the Argentines have thrived in recent tournaments. Messi stepped up to take Argentina’s first kick of the shootout and failed to find the net, instead leaving his mark on the crossbar with a failed Panenka attempt.

Afterwards, the Inter Miami star revealed that he felt angry that he had not managed to convert the attempt because it was carefully thought out. He said to the press that he had even communicated his intent to goalkeepers Geronimo Rulli and Emiliano Martinez before the shootout.

“I was very angry because I was convinced to take it that way if the opportunity arose. I had talked with Dibu and Rulli in advance,” he told the press.

Argentina recovered from Messi’s miss to overcome El Tri in their quarterfinal encounter, booking their place in the semi-finals of the tournament. They will face one of Canada or Venezuela for a place in the final of the Copa America.

Emiliano Martinez spares Lionel Messi blushes as Argentina triumph over Ecuador

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was the hero for Argentina as they defeated Ecuador 4-2 on penalties to reach the semi-finals of the Copa America. The Aston Villa goalkeeper saved two penalties to deny Ecuador a chance at victory, with Nicolas Otamendi converting the winning penalty.

Lionel Messi looked far from his best as he made his return from a troublesome adductor injury, starting the game. He failed to have an influence on the proceedings, even failing to score in the penalty shootout.

Lisandro Martinez headed home a first-half opener for La Albiceleste, giving his side the lead by the halfway point of the game. Ecuador missed a golden opportunity to equalize as Enner Valencia struck the post with a penalty before Kevin Rodriguez scored a 91st-minute equalizer to send the game to penalties.

Lionel Messi missed the first kick of the shootout before Martinez saved twice to hand his side the advantage once more. The former Arsenal man has now won all four penalty shootouts he has featured in for his country, conceding nine of 18 penalties across them


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