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Onto the second day of the 2021 Copa America quarterfinal stage!
Following Uruguay vs Colombia, Argentina vs Ecuador will close out the night as the main event.
For Argentina, it has mostly been smooth sailing so far in the South American tournament.
Regardless of the fact that most of their group stage results ended with low-scoring results, Argentina were able to get the job done with an undefeated start.
On the other end of the pitch, Ecuador should be happy that they’ve even made it to the quarterfinals.
aAfter being unable to earn a single win in the group stage, Ecuador were eventually able to earn a place in the knockout round thanks to their three points from three draws.
There’s plenty of excitement about some of their younger players within the roster, but for the time being, fans will have to wait before Ecuador truly begin to shine. Argentina have the upperhand.
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|Argentina vs Ecuador Information|
|Teams||Argentina vs Ecuador|
|Location||Estadio Olimpico Pedro Ludovico (Goiania, Brazil)|
|Time||Saturday, July 3rd at 9:00 pm ET|
|How to Watch||Univision, TUDN, FS1|
Both teams will be walking into the weekend with two very different paths to the quarterfinal stage of Copa America.
Ecuador will be relieved to have simply made it into the knockout round.
Thanks to a surprising equalizer against Brazil, and Venezuela unable to cement a win in the final matchday of the group stage, Ecuador narrowly snuck into the quarterfinals with three draws and a loss.
Outside of a few standout players, it’s tough to find very many positives for the side that haven’t clinched a victory in their last six games in all competitions.
Glancing over at Argentina, who just so happen to be on a 17-match undefeated streak, their group stage run in the tournament was punctuated by a recent 4-1 win over Bolivia.
With the three wins in hand, Argentina not only topped the group, but have also started to highlight some of the energy and dominance that they are capable of showcasing.
As one of the Copa America favorites, Argentina weren’t exactly making headlines for all of the right reasons when they started off the competition with a 1-1 tie against Chile.
Ambitions are always high for the team, and immediately after the draw, questions began to surround their defense and sudden drop in energy during the 2nd half of their draw.
Small signs of progress were eventually made with two close 1-0 wins over Uruguay and Paraguay, and by Monday, they were finally firing on all cylinders in the 4-1 demolition of Bolivia.
Granted, Bolivia will go down as the worst team in the Copa America, but it was still inspiring to see the Argentine squad launch dangerous opportunity after dangerous opportunity.
Things are clicking for Argentina, and with their confidence now high, they should be able to overwhelm their Ecuadorian opponents who have had serious dilemmas of their own.
The bad news for Ecuador is that even when they have looked promising in the Copa America and scored early goals, they’ve always had issues with holding on to a favorable outcome.
Against Venezuela and Peru, who were arguably their most beatable opponents in the group stage, Ecuador let wins slip away after taking the lead in both matches.
In fact, they had the lead three times (twice against Venezuela and once against Peru) in those two matches that ultimately finished with 2-2 scorelines.
Perhaps it has something due to game management, or the inexperience of some of their younger players, but Ecuador haven’t done a good job of maintaining those beneficial scorelines.
It goes without saying that Lionel Messi is the most talented player in the Copa America.
Capable of single-handedly carrying his team if needed, the star player has been vital with three goals and two assists in just four matches.
Messi is an absolute menace when he’s at the peak of his abilities, and after having his best game in several weeks against Bolivia, he appears ready to once again turn some heads.
As long as the 34-year-old is on the pitch, Argentina will be the heavy favorites.
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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