Lionel Messi put together one of his most memorable performances for Argentina in quite a while Saturday, recording two assists and getting a shocking goal of his own to beat Ecuador 3-0 within the Copa America quarterfinals. The win sees Argentina advance to the last four, where they’ll face Colombia on Tuesday. While the scoreline was one-sided, the sport really wasn’t for a majority of the 90 minutes. Argentina led for the last hour, but Ecuador had their chances, Enner Valencia especially. within the end, the wasteful underdogs just couldn’t beat Emiliano Martinez despite making Argentina’s defense look foolish sometimes.
Messi now has four goals and 4 assists within the cup and has his team on the brink of yet one more appearance within the Copa final. The winning goal came from midfielder Rodrigo de Paul within the 40th minute with a tidy finish within the box on an open goal, but just check out the assist Messi provided to line him up: Then an error in defense from Ecuador gifted Argentina their second, with Messi swiftly finding the feet of Lautaro Martinez for the 2-0 lead with six minutes to go
And he wasn’t done there. Angel Di Maria went on the counter and won a place kick that also resulted in a red card for Ecuador defender Piero Hincapie, and Messi made no mistake, going goalkeeper side for a fantastic finish: With the win, Argentina now get a rematch against Los Cafeteros after recently blowing a 2-0 lead against them in World Cup qualifying, settling for a 2-2 draw. Colombia is without star James Rodriguez who missed the tournament, with Reinaldo Rueda’s team defeating Uruguay in penalty kicks earlier on Saturday. Brazil faces Peru within the first semifinal on Monday.