COPA America: Lionel Messi inspires Argentina to win over Ecuador

  • Argentina cruise to a 3-0 win over Ecuador to advance to the semi-finals
  • Lionel Messi assisted twice and scored a spectacular free kick to give Argentina a comfortable win

Argentina are through to the semi-finals of the Copa America after a 3-0 win over Ecuador.

Messi inspired the side to another win as they took one step forward in hunt for the elusive Copa America trophy.

The six-time Ballon D’or winner had a chance to open the scoring in the first half but had his effort rattle the post.

The two sides continued to chase the opening goal in a half characterized by harsh and extremely physical challenges from either side.

With minutes to half time, Rodrigo De Paul found the back of the net for Argentina when he caught Hernán Galíndez far off his line following a typically brilliant Lionel Messi assist.

Argentina doubled the lead in the second half through Lautaro Martinez who was gifted a pass by Messi.

The win was sealed when Piero Hincapie was given marching orders before Messi scored from the resultant free kick.

Elsewhere, Columbia knocked out Uruguay on penalties to also advance to the semi-finals.