Ecuador earns spot in Copa America quarterfinals with draw against Mexico at State Farm Stadium

Jun 30, 2024, 8:03 PM

Mexico's Jorge Sanchez, left, and Ecuador's Jeremy Sarmiento fight for the ball during a Copa Ameri...

Mexico's Jorge Sanchez, left, and Ecuador's Jeremy Sarmiento fight for the ball during a Copa America Group B soccer match in Glendale, Ariz., Sunday, June 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Ecuador avoided a penalty shot in stoppage time after a review and earned a spot the Copa America quarterfinals with a 0-0 draw against Mexico on Sunday night.

Mexico initially received a penalty kick from referee Mario Alberto Escobar Toca when Ecuador’s Félix Torres took down Mexican forward Guillermo Martínez in the penalty box. VAR rescinded the penalty and Mexico was awarded a corner kick, sending in a chorus of boos raining down from the Mexican fans at State Farm Stadium.

Ahead on goal differential, Ecuador weathered a second-half push by Mexico at State Farm Stadium to finish second in Group B behind Venezuela. Ecuador will face Group A winner Argentina in the quarterfinals Thursday in Houston.

Mexico failed to get out of the group stage for the fourth time in its last five Copa America appearances, which could put coach Jaime Lozano’s job in jeopardy.

El Tri was eliminated in the first round of the World Cup for the first time since 1978 in Qatar two years ago and lost to the United States in CONCACAF Nations League final in March.

Mexico needs a win to advance after losing 1-0 to Venezuela on a penalty kick in the 57th minute and beating Jamaica 1-0 in the tournament opener.

Ecuador, ahead 4-1 in goal differential, only needed a draw to reach the quarterfinals following a 3-1 win over Jamaica and a 2-1 loss to group leader Venezuela.

Mexico had a slight advantage in possession the first half (54%) and took seven shots, but continued its struggles with efficiency.

El Tri didn’t have a shot on goal and its best scoring chance came in the final minutes of the half, when Santiago Giménez sent a header over the crossbar.

Ecuador had the best chance of the half in the 19th minute, when Kendry Paez’s shot to the near post on free kick forced Julio González to make a save.

Mexico began ramping up the pressure early in the second half, creating more scoring opportunities.

El Tri and its fans were irate when referee Toca didn’t call a foul when Ecuador’s Félix Torres took down Gerardo Arteaga in the penalty box, but the non-call was upheld on VAR. Giménez sent another header over the crossbar on the ensuing corner kick.

Julián Quiñones had Mexico’s best chance a few minutes later, rifling a shot from just inside the box that Alexander Domínguez sprawled out to knock away. Giménez’s shot on the rebound hit the outside of the goal.

General News

Xander Schauffele tips cap to crowd at 2024 Open Championship...

Associated Press

Xander the Great! Schauffele wins the British Open for his 2nd major this year

Xander Schauffele won the British Open on Sunday for his second major of the year, delivering a masterpiece at Royal Troon with a 6-under 65 to overcome a two-shot deficit and give the Americans a sweep of the majors for the first time since 1982.

16 hours ago

Argentina's Lautaro Martínez celebrates scoring his side's opening goal against Colombia during th...

Associated Press

Argentina wins record 16th Copa America title, beats Colombia after Messi gets hurt

Argentina overcame Lionel Messi’s second-half leg injury to beat Colombia on Sunday night for a record 16th Copa America title.

7 days ago

Spain's Mikel Oyarzabal, center, scores his side's second goal during the final match between Spain...

Associated Press

Spain beats England to win record 4th European Championship title

Spain won a record fourth European Championship title on Sunday after Mikel Oyarzabal’s 87th-minute goal clinched a 2-1 victory over England.

8 days ago

United States goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher throws the ball across the field during a women's internatio...

Associated Press

US women’s soccer gets revenge win over Mexico ahead of the Olympics

The United States got revenge for a loss to Mexico earlier this year with a 1-0 victory in the rematch on Saturday.

8 days ago

Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas, right, dribbles past Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner,...

Associated Press

Mercury, playing without injured Diana Taurasi and Rebecca Allen, lose to Sun

Brionna Jones had 18 points to lead the Connecticut Sun past the short-handed Phoenix Mercury 83-72 on Monday night.

20 days ago

Uruguay's Ronald Araujo (4) celebrates after a goal by Mathias Olivera during a Copa America Group ...

Associated Press

U.S. eliminated from Copa America following 1-0 loss to Uruguay

The United States was eliminated from the Copa America with a 1-0 loss to Uruguay on a Mathías Olivera questionable second-half goal.

20 days ago

Ecuador earns spot in Copa America quarterfinals with draw against Mexico at State Farm Stadium