Alexis Mac Allister assists AND scores in shootout to reach Copa America semis

Alexis Mac Allister had a busy night as Argentina secured their place in the Copa America semi-finals, playing 90 minutes, notching an assist and scoring in the penalty shootout!

After being rested last time out Mac Allister was back in the starting lineup as his side met Ecuador in the Copa America quarter-finals in Houston, Texas.

Liverpool’s No. 10 is one of four club representatives to reach the final eight of the competition, and he became the first to reach the semi-finals after a tense battle with Ecuador.

Mac Allister assisted the game’s opener in the 35th minute, flicking on a corner delivery to the backpost, which was met and converted by Man United‘s Lisandro Martinez.

Argentina were the heavy favourites, but Ecuador kept them within striking distance throughout. They missed from the penalty spot on the hour-mark, only to dramatically equalise in the 91st minute.

Thankfully, Mac Allister was not forced to play 120 minutes as Copa America will only play extra time in the final, if needed, meaning it went straight to a penalty shootout.

The 25-year-old was the third spot kicker to step up for Argentina, and by that stage, they were only 1-0 up as Lionel Messi missed the opener.

A figure of composer, Mac Allister sent the goalkeeper the other way as he slotted his strike brilliantly into the bottom right corner, helping to set his side up for a 4-2 penalty shootout win.

Emi Martinez saved two penalties and that earned him the highest rating from Argentine outlet TyC Sports, but Mac Allister was second-best with what they deemed a seven-out-of-ten outing.

They praised that in “Argentina’s worst moment, he stood up and contained the turbulence” and “had the character to put the ball under his sole and think.”

Mac Allister has been integral to Argentina’s success thus far, and will again be a key player when they face Canada or Venezuela in the semi-final, which takes place on July 10.

By reaching this stage of the competition, the 25-year-old has guaranteed that he will not start his holidays until either July 14 or 15, as Copa America has a third-place playoff.

Alisson and Darwin Nunez will battle for another semi-final spot on July 7 as Brazil meet Uruguay, while Luis Diaz‘s Colombia will meet Panama on Saturday.