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Cuti the creator and Gio in action as Argentina beat Ecuador

Mon 10 June 2024, 09:00|Tottenham Hotspur

Argentina duo Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso began preparations for their 2024 Copa America title defence with a 1-0 friendly win over Ecuador in the early hours of Monday morning (10 June).

Both in from the start at Soldier Field in Chicago, United States, 'Cuti' supplied the key assist as Angel Di Maria's strike on 40 minutes proved the difference. Popping up in an advanced forward position after a typical surge from defence, the centre-back received the ball on the edge of the area from Rodrigo de Paul before swivelling and feeding Di Maria inside the box who placed a pinpoint low finish into the far corner.

The pair helped Lionel Scaloni's side to a professional performance that brought a clean sheet with Cuti earning his 31st cap and Gio moving to 51 appearances for La Albiceleste. The Copa America and World Cup holders head into this summer's major tournament in the USA as the team to beat and are in Group A alongside Canada, Chile and Peru.

Before that, Argentina take on Guatemala at FedExField in Maryland in their final friendly warm-up game until they kick things off with the opening game against Canada on 21 June (kick-off 1am UK).