Ecuador have sacked head coach Felix Sanchez after their 4-2 penalty shoot-out defeat to Argentina in the Copa America quarter-finals.

Kevin Rodriguez equalised in stoppage time after Lisandro Martinez's first-half opener, but Emiliano Martinez proved the hero for the Albiceleste.

Though Lionel Messi missed the opening spot-kick, the goalkeeper saved two of Ecuador's, ensuring La Tricolor were knocked out of the tournament.

Speaking after the defeat, Sanchez chose to focus on the team's achievements at the tournament.

"We managed to advance from the group stage to the knockouts," Sanchez said. "I have congratulated the players even if we weren't able to progress.

"I think they deserve the credit, that is my opinion, but I think that in the next edition of this tournament, we'll get here with a more experienced team.

"These are very young players. Maybe the results were unfair, but I know that we have to believe in this group of players."

Sanchez took over in 2023, signing a four-year contract, having previously led Qatar to the maiden Asian Cup title in 2019.

The Spaniard has been relieved of his duties despite a so far impressive run in 2026 World Cup qualifying, with the team sitting fifth above the likes of Brazil, Chile and Peru.

In a statement, Ecuador's Football Federation (FEF) said: "We thank Felix and his coaching staff for their work and professionalism and wish him success in his future endeavours."