Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo were both in action as Argentina defeated Ecuador in a warm-up friendly ahead of this summer’s Copa America.

Chelsea’s South American contingent are currently in the USA before of the start of the 2024 Copa America on 20 June, with preparations for Argentina and Ecuador getting under way in earnest when they met in a friendly in Chicago in the early hours of Monday morning UK time.

It marked the return to action of Enzo Fernandez, who came off the bench for Argentina in the second half for his first minutes since Chelsea’s defeat to Arsenal in April, having missed the end of our season due to injury.

For Ecuador, Moises Caicedo played the full 90 minutes at the heart of their midfield. He featured alongside teenager Kendry Paez, who also started for Ecuador, and will join Chelsea after his 18th birthday next year.

In Chicago, it was Enzo and Argentina who emerged victorious, as Angel Di Maria turned in Cristian Romero’s pass five minutes before half-time to give the reigning world and South American champions a 1-0 win.

Argentina were good value for their victory, putting in a dominant performance, and will feel their winning margin could have been greater given their 15 attempts at goal, while denying Ecuador a single shot on target in the match.

That was despite several important players, including Enzo and captain Lionel Messi, being left out of the starting line-up, with manager Lionel Scaloni confirming he is easing those players back into the team following injury to keep them fresh for the tournament itself.

Argentina next face Guatemala in another friendly in the early hours of Friday, a week before their Copa America campaign kicks off against Canada, while Ecuador take on Bolivia on Thursday and Honduras on Saturday ahead of their opening match against Venezuela.