Ecuador was hoping for an upset in their game against the United States but ultimately came up short despite a strong last-minute effort by the South American squad.
The United States pulled away early, leading 2-0 at one point, but Ecuador found new life after scoring in the second half.
Ecuador nearly scored twice off headers but on both occasions the ball failed to find the back of the net.
Momentum was on the side of Ecuador for most of the second half until a questionable penalty was called against Michael Arroyo. Indignation from the bench was so great that coach Gustavo Quinteros was expelled.
The United States now moves on to the semifinal round where they will play the winner of the Argentina vs. Venezuela match.
Match Preview: Ecuador vs. US
Ecuador is hoping to upset the Copa America hosts in the tournament's first quarterfinal match on Thursday.
There is a lot of pressure on the Ecuadorean squad as the country's national team has been eliminated after the group stage in the past six editions of the Copa America. They finally broke that streak this year after soundly defeating an underwhelming Haiti squad in the group stage.
Despite a modest record going into the quarterfinals, Ecuador has been playing performing well under coach Gustavo Quinteros, who has largely stuck to his game plan. They have yet to lose a match, tying with both Brazil and Peru in the group stage.
Meanwhile, this is the U.S. team's first trip to the knockout stage since 1995. After losing to Colombia, the team bounced back in matches against Costa Rica and Paraguay, ultimately winning their group.
The U.S. is hoping homefield advantage will help them move on to the semifinals, where they would face the winner of Argentina vs. Venezuela.