Ecuador secured a spot in the Copa América quarter-finals on Sunday with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Mexico, who were eliminated from the tournament after finishing third in Group B.

Despite finishing tied with Mexico on four points, Ecuador advanced due to a better goal difference and will face world champions Argentina in the next round.

In a physically intense first half, Mexico pushed aggressively but struggled to create clear chances, failing to register a shot on target. Jaime Lozano’s team continued to press after halftime, with Gerardo Arteaga denied by a crucial tackle from Felix Torres and Julián Quiñones testing Ecuador’s goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez with a long-range attempt.

Mexico persisted in their quest for a winning goal and appeared to earn a penalty when Guillermo Martínez was brought down by Torres, only for the decision to be overturned after a VAR review. Instead of a penalty, Mexico received a corner, much to the dismay of their supporters at State Farm Stadium.

This marks Mexico’s third group stage exit in their last four Copa América appearances. They were also eliminated in the Qatar World Cup group stage two years ago and lost to the United States in the Concacaf Nations League final in March.

In the other match on Sunday night, Venezuela defeated Jamaica 3-0 in Texas to secure the top spot in Group B. Having already qualified with wins over Ecuador and Mexico, Venezuela needed just a draw against Jamaica to avoid facing defending champions Argentina in the quarter-finals.

Eduard Bello opened the scoring with a powerful header in the 49th minute, followed by Salomon Rondon’s scrappy goal seven minutes later past Jamaica’s goalkeeper Jahmali Waite. Eric Ramirez sealed the victory with a breakaway goal in the 85th minute.