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Di María scores, Messi returns in Argentina’s Copa América warmup victory over Ecuador

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Ángel Di María scored as Lionel Messi returned to the worldwide stage for the primary time in six months, serving to Argentina to a 1-0 victory over Ecuador in a Copa América warmup match on Sunday at Soldier Area in Chicago.

Messi was sidelined for the primary half earlier than changing Di María within the 56th minute.

A proper hamstring harm saved the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner and Inter Miami star from taking part in Argentina’s earlier two Copa América warmup matches in opposition to El Salvador and Costa Rica in March.

“With Leo [Messi], there isn’t any have to threat him. Not simply with him, however others like [Nicolas] Otamendi did not play. Angel [Di María] solely performed some minutes, Julian [Alvarez] and Lautaro [Martinez] the identical”, stated Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni.

“We wish to maintain these gamers, and permit them to reach of their very best circumstances to the match”.

With Messi watching from the bench, Di María despatched a reverse move from Cristian Romero into the online to open the scoring within the fortieth minute.

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“We all know Copa America will probably be sophisticated, you may see it as we speak within the sport. Gamers get into it, and there will probably be troublesome video games,” Di María informed TyC Sports activities. “I feel as we speak was a very good sport to exhibit how we’re. I feel we’re on a very good path.”

Di María’s purpose marked his second consecutive in a world match, additionally scoring in opposition to Costa Rica on March 26. With the thirty first purpose of his Argentina profession, the 36-year-old midfielder is tied with Gonzalo Higuain for the fifth-most targets within the nation’s historical past and sits simply 4 targets behind Diego Maradona at No. 4 on the leaderboard.

Scaloni’s squad will wrap up its pre-Copa América slate in Washington D.C. on Friday with a warmup match in opposition to Guatemala earlier than opening its group stage of the match in opposition to Canada on June 20.

“We have to get collectively, compete, add minutes and really feel that sensation of placing on that jersey once more. That is what we’re after earlier than a Copa América that will probably be very troublesome,” Scaloni added.

Ecuador will play two pleasant matches, in opposition to Bolívia on Wednesday and Honduras on June 16, earlier than its debut in Copa America in opposition to Venezuela on June 22.

ESPN’s Lizzy Becherano and The Related Press contributed to this report.

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