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Messi’s Miss, Martinez’s Magic!

🎯 Argentina Sneaks Past Ecuador in Shootout

Last night at the Copa America, the drama was as thick as fog. Argentina, with hopes high and spirits lifted by the return of Lionel Messi, faced off against a determined Ecuadorian squad. The stage? None other than the bustling NRG Stadium, where every fan was on the edge of their seat.

The game kicked off with both teams pushing hard. Ecuador was peppering the goal, trying to find that one opening. Argentina held steady, though, thanks to Emiliano Martinez, who’s always a wall when it comes to blocking shots. The breakthrough came from an unexpected corner; Messi whipped it in, and there was Lisandro Martinez, unmarked and ready to head the ball home. That was all Argentina needed to take the lead.

Ecuador wasn’t going down without a fight. A handball gave them a golden chance to level the score, but Enner Valencia’s penalty shot hit the post—a real heartbreaker for him, I’m sure. Just when it looked like Argentina might cruise through, Kevin Rodriguez’s late header sent the match to a penalty shootout. Talk about a nail-biter!

Then came the penalties. Messi’s cheeky Panenka attempt hit the crossbar, making everyone’s heart skip a beat. But Emiliano Martinez was the hero once more, stopping two shots and keeping Argentina’s hopes alive. They scraped through to the semi-finals, but boy, it was close!

It’s tough when your team’s on the ropes, and even tougher when a star like Messi misses. But Martinez stepped up big time. This win was a real cliffhanger, and I can’t wait to see what Argentina does next in the semis. They’re still in it to win it, but it’s clear they’ve got to tighten up their game.