Sports

Argentina reached Copa America semifinals, beats Ecuador 4-2 on penalty kicks after 1-1 draw

HOUSTON — Defending champion Argentina advanced to the Copa America semifinals, beating Ecuador 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw on Thursday night after conceding a tying goal in second-half injury time,

Lionel Messi put Argentina’s first penalty kick off the crossbar but goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez saved Ecuador’s first two attempts in the shootout and Nicolás Otamendi beat Alexander Domínguez with the winning kick.

Liisandro Martínez have Argentina a 35th-minute lead, but Kevin Rodríguez scored the score in the first minute of second-half stoppage time. Ecuador’s Enner Valencia had put a penalty kick off a post in the 60th minute after a hand ball by Rodrigo De Paul.

Seeking its third straight major title, Argentina advanced to the semifinals for the fifth straight Copa America and will play Venezuela or Canada on Tuesday at East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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