Copa America, Argentina beat Ecuador to reach semis: Records broken
Lionel Messi made two assists and scored a goal as Argentina reached the semis of Copa America. Argentina beat Ecuador 3-0 as a sublime Messi made his presence felt. The South American giants will face Colombia in the semis. Earlier, Brazil beat Chile to set up a semi-final clash against Peru. One is predicting a Brazil-Argentina finale. Here are the records that were broken.
Argentina went ahead just before half-time as Messi set up Rodrigo de Paul. Argentina turned on the heat in the second half with Messi assisting Lautaro Martinez in the 84th minute. Six minutes later, Messi scored from a free-kick after Piero Hincapie was sent off for a foul on Angel di Maria.
With his goal against Ecuador, Messi has now raced to 76, matching the tally of UAE's Ali Mabkhaout. Notably, Messi needs two goals to get past the legendary Pele, who netted 77 for Brazil. Meanwhile, Messi has four goals and four assists in the ongoing Copa America. Messi has been involved in eight goals out of Argentina's 10 in the tournament.
Messi said that Argentina are here to win the tournament and is focused on the job that lies ahead. "I've always said that individual prizes are secondary - we're here for something else," said Messi. "We have an objective and we're focused on that," he added.
Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez scored his 13th goal for Argentina. He now has two goals for Argentina in 2021 from six matches. As per ESPN, Messi netted his 58th direct free kick for club and country.