Deja Vu for Messi? Star Misses Panenka, But Argentina Advances in Copa América Shootout

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Lionel Messi’s audacious Panenka penalty attempt backfired in Argentina’s Copa America quarter-final against Ecuador, but Emiliano Martinez’s heroics in goal ensured a dramatic 4-2 shootout victory for La Albiceleste

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Key Matchup: Argentina vs Ecuador (Copa America Quarter-Final)

Key Moments:

  • Match ends 1-1: The game remained deadlocked after 90 minutes, forcing a penalty shootout.
  • Messi’s Panenka Miss: Messi, taking the first penalty for Argentina, surprised everyone with a Panenka attempt that clattered off the crossbar.
  • Martinez Shines: Argentina’s goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez made two crucial saves to keep his team in the shootout.
  • Argentina Wins: After both sides missed their second penalties, Argentina converted their remaining attempts to secure a semi-final berth.

Messi’s Rare Slip-Up

Lionel Messi, known for his composure in high-pressure situations, endured a rare moment of misfortune. His chipped penalty, a risky Panenka attempt, failed to find the net, leaving Argentina temporarily vulnerable. This miss brought back memories of his penalty miss in the 2016 Copa America final, a moment that led him to briefly retire from international duty.

Martinez to the Rescue

Fortunately for Argentina, Emiliano Martinez, their ever-reliable goalkeeper, rose to the occasion. He made two spectacular saves to deny Ecuador, effectively neutralizing Messi’s miss. This continues Martinez’s impressive record in penalty shootouts, solidifying his reputation as a clutch performer for Argentina.

Argentina Marches On

Despite the early scare from Messi’s miss, Argentina ultimately secured their place in the Copa America semi-final for the fifth consecutive time. They now await the winner of the Venezuela vs Canada clash, scheduled for July 9th.

Looking Ahead

While Messi’s penalty miss will undoubtedly be a talking point, Argentina’s resilience and Martinez’s heroics ensured their tournament journey continues. As they approach the semi-final, questions remain about Messi’s goalscoring form, but Argentina will be hoping their captain can rediscover his magic touch in the knockout stages.

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