On its Independence Day, America curses Messi in the penalty shootout

Lionel Messi lived through the penalty shootout against Ecuador in the quarter-finals. Copa America 2024 Final Nightmare moments, from which he was saved, as usual, by goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Argentina qualified for the Copa America semi-finals for the fifth consecutive time, and will face the winner of Venezuela and Canada on Tuesday evening.

And achieved Argentina Winning on penalties for the fifth time out of 10 times in the Copa America, while Ecuador lost their second attempt on penalties, after losing the first in the 1997 edition.

The Albiceleste were below par, only winning 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw as they did more than once in the last World Cup, while Ecuador had countless moments that should have been used more to score and qualify.

Ecuador dominated the start of the match, pressing the left side of Argentina’s defence and constantly focusing the attack through full-back Nahuel Molina.

Messi’s shy return

Lionel Messi returned to play against Ecuador after a leg injury kept him out of the final group game against Peru, and took a perfectly executed corner kick that led to the only goal for Argentina through Lisandro Martinez, before a late equaliser for Ecuador took the match to penalties.

The Barcelona legend did not reach his best level in the tournament, as he once again failed to find the net for the first time, and struggled throughout the match and failed to leave any noticeable mark.

The Inter Miami star was sloppy in possession, lacked accuracy with his shooting as well, and struggled to get on the ball for much of the match as Ecuador played him in a man-marking fashion.

Lionel Messi lifts the Copa America 2021 title he won with Argentina

To illustrate the previous point, Messi touched the ball 32 times against Ecuador, his lowest number in an official match in which he played 90 minutes with Argentina (World Cup, qualifiers and Copa America) since 2011.

The story of America and Messi’s penalty kicks

Messi missed Argentina’s first penalty when he tried to take a Panenka kick but it hit the crossbar.

Messi has only missed two penalty kicks, both with Argentina, both in the United States and in the Copa America.

Messi’s first missed penalty kick was against Chile in the 2016 Copa America final in America. Argentina lost the title and Messi cried after the loss, and decided to retire from international football before later reversing his decision.

The second kick was yesterday, but fortunately for Messi this time Argentina managed to pass, and both times Messi was the first to take the penalty kick. Here we review Messi’s record with penalty kicks (not penalties).

✅ 2011 Copa America Qualifiers vs Uruguay – Record (Lost 5-4) – 1st Output
✅ World Cup 2014 vs Netherlands – Scored (Won 4-2) – 1st Scorer
✅ Copa America 2015 vs Colombia – Record (Won 5-4) – 1st Out
✅ Copa America 2015 vs Chile – Scored (lost 4-1) – 1st try
❌ Copa America 2016 vs Chile – Missed (lost 4-2) – 1st Outlet
✅ Copa America 2021 vs Colombia – Record (Won 3-2) – 1st Output
✅ French Cup 2022 vs Nice – Scored (Losed 6-5) – 1st Output
✅ World Cup 2022 vs Netherlands – Scored (Won 4-3) – 1st Scorer
✅ World Cup 2022 vs France – Scored (Won 4-2) – 1st Scorer
✅ MLS Cup 2023 vs FC Dallas – Record (Won 5-3) – 1st Output
✅ MLS Cup 2023 vs Nashville – Record (Won 10-9) – 1st Output
✅ US Open Cup 2023 vs Cincinnati – Record (Won 5-4) – 1st Output
❌ Copa America 2024 vs Ecuador – Missed (Won 2-4) – First Outlet

Result: Messi has taken 13 penalty kicks, all with the Argentine national team and Inter Miami, and he was always the first to take them. He scored 11 and missed 2, and his teams won 9 penalty shootouts and lost 4.

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