Argentina 1-0 Ecuador: Lionel Messi returns and Angel di Maria scores in Chicago

Lionel Messi made a triumphant return to the international stage as Argentina secured a 1-0 victory over Ecuador in a friendly match held in Chicago. The highly anticipated match saw Messi stepping back onto the pitch after nearly seven months, following a hamstring injury that had sidelined him from two previous friendlies in March.

The match, which took place at Soldier Field, saw Angel di Maria leading the Argentine side in Messi’s absence. Di Maria proved his leadership skills by scoring the only goal of the game in the 40th minute, assisted by a brilliant pass from Tottenham defender Cristian Romero. The goal sealed the victory for Argentina, showcasing the team’s strength and determination.

Argentina’s head coach, Lionel Scaloni, expressed his satisfaction with Messi’s performance, stating, “With Leo, there is no need to risk him. We want to take care of these players and allow them to arrive in their best possible conditions to the tournament.” The victory over Ecuador serves as a confidence booster for the Argentine team as they prepare to defend their Copa America title.

Looking ahead, the world champions are set to face Guatemala in another friendly match in Maryland on Saturday. The team is gearing up for their Copa America campaign, with their first match scheduled against Canada on 21 June. The successful return of Messi, coupled with the team’s strong performance against Ecuador, sets a positive tone for Argentina as they aim to make their mark in the upcoming tournament.

In conclusion, Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Ecuador, marked by Messi’s return and Di Maria’s goal, highlights the team’s readiness and determination as they gear up for the Copa America. With their star players in form and the team showing promise, Argentina is poised to put up a strong defense of their title in the upcoming tournament.