Argentina v Ecuador: Copa América 2024 quarter-final – live

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Manizales 2001. That’s why we keep coming back.Argentina cruised to the top of Group A over Canada, Chile, and Peru.

They trotted to wins with Lionel Messi in the lineup. But, crucially, they looked dominant without him in their final group match, which he missed through injury. Messi has returned to full training and seems likely to play in the quarters. If not, they could do a whole lot worse than sliding Alejandro Garnacho into the team.

In Messi’s absence, Lautaro Martínez has caught fire. After starting the tournament on the subs bench, Martínez has pushed his way into the starting lineup, scoring four times in three games – including two from the bench.

Moving back a line, Argentina’s midfield is ready to beat you – and they want to shove it in your face. “What I do is pick an enemy,” midfield general Rodrigo De Paul told Telemundo. “Well, let’s say a rival because that doesn’t sound so bad. I look to engage in a dispute that will keep me alert. It’s not just that I want to win. I want to beat you. I make it personal.”

Best of luck to Argentina’s opponents in the knockouts. They’ll need it.

2) Colombia

Colombia haven’t lost in 26 games. They haven’t lost since February 2022. That’s objectively insane.

Sure, their failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup preceded this amazing run of form and puts a bit of a damper on the streak. But now, 18 months removed from that World Cup, Colombia look like a genuine threat to extend that unbeaten run all the way to the final.

Colombia finished on top of Group D, beating Paraguay and Costa Rica before drawing in their showdown with Brazil. Despite conceding a free-kick wonder-goal, they pushed back to earn the point that would keep them in first place and book a spot with an overmatched quarter-final opponent: Panama.

You can read the rest of the rankings here:


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