Antonio Valencia red card sparks melee as Ecuador are eliminated from Copa America 5 years ago

Antonio Valencia red card sparks melee as Ecuador are eliminated from Copa America

What was he thinking?

Antonio Valencia knew he was on a yellow card when he made the bizarre decision to scythe down Alejandro Bedoya on the sideline during Thursday night's Copa America Centenario quarter-final between Ecuador and the USA.

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Valencia had already been booked in the 38th minute but clearly forgot all about that during half-time as he aggressively chopped at Bedoya's legs just minutes after the break.

With Ecuador - who advanced from their group ahead of Brazil - trailing 1-0 early in the second half, the winger lost his cool and made an already difficult task a lot more challenging for his team-mates.

The Manchester United man was understandably sent packing but not before a fracas broke out between both sets of players.

USA's Jermaine Jones quickly followed Valencia down the tunnel as he was shown a straight red for seemingly throwing a short punch to the chin of Michael Arroyo.

With both sides down to 10 men, the United States were able to hang on and take the game 2-1, guaranteeing them a place in the semi-finals against either Argentina or Venezuela in Houston next week.

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The hosts will discover their fate when the South American rivals face off on Saturday night/Sunday morning.