Messi inspires Argentina to 3-0 win over Ecuador, set-up Copa America semi-final against Colombia (Match Highlights)
Argentina beat Ecuador 3-0, setting up a Copa America semi-final against Colombia, thanks to Lionel Messi's free-kick and two assists.
The 34-year-old attacker assisted Rodrigo de Paul in the 41st minute, and late on, Lautaro Martinez.
After Piero Hincapie was sent out for a foul on Angel di Maria, he curled in a free kick in injury time.
Semi-finals opponents Colombia beat Uruguay 4-2 after penalties following a barren draw.
"I've always said that individual prizes are secondary - we're here for something else," said Messi, whose goal was his 76th for his country. "We have an objective and we're focused on that."
Messi, who is a free agent after his contract with Barcelona expired, had a chance to put his team ahead early on but his shot struck the post when he was through on goal.
He added: "It was a hard match. We know how difficult an opponent they can be. The important thing is we've taken another step forward."
Argentina, who haven't won the Copa America since 1993, will battle Colombia on Wednesday, whose only title came in 2001.
Colombia's hero was former Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina, who saved penalties from Jose Maria Gimenez and Matias Vina in the penalty shootout.
Ospina, 32, was making his 112th appearance for his country, making him the most capped player in the country."David has always been a leader," said Colombia coach Reinaldo Rueda.
"He's very cerebral when it comes to penalties. That's a big help to our team."