Martinez saves Argentina

Martinez saves Argentina

1 minute, 31 seconds Read
By Akinsuroju Olubunmi,

Martinez saves Argentina

Martinez saves Argentina

Emiliano Martinez saved two penalties, sparing Lionel Messi’s blushes and propelling Argentina to the Copa America semi-final.


Argentina’s victory over Ecuador, 4-2 on penalties, was largely due to the heroic efforts of their goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez. Despite not conceding any goals during the group stages, Argentina faced significant pressure early in the match as Ecuador made two strong attempts in the 15th minute.


Lionel Scaloni’s team gradually found their footing, opening the scoring after 35 minutes. A corner from Lionel Messi was flicked on by Alexis Mac Allister, allowing Lisandro Martinez to head the ball home at the far post, marking his first international goal. This gave Argentina a 1-0 lead going into half-time, a lead they had never previously lost at the tournament when ahead at the break.


Ecuador was presented with a prime opportunity to equalize early in the second half following a penalty for an Argentina handball. However, veteran forward Enner Valencia missed the chance, hitting the post.


Ecuador continued to press for an equalizer and managed to find the net in injury time through Kevin Rodriguez, pushing the quarter-final to a penalty shootout.


Messi missed Argentina’s first spot-kick, hitting the crossbar, but Emiliano Martinez came through by saving Ecuador’s first two attempts.


Following Messi’s miss, Argentina remained composed, with Nicolas Otamendi securing the winning penalty to send the defending champions to the semi-finals.


**Martinez’s Key Role**


Martinez once again demonstrated his crucial role for Argentina in shootouts, having won all four he’s been part of with the national team. Of the 18 spot-kicks he’s faced, only nine have been converted.


Argentina is now set to face the winner of the Venezuela vs. Canada match in the semi-finals on July 10.

Martinez saves Argentina

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