Angel Di Maria scored the only goal as Argentina warmed up for the defence of their Copa America crown with a 1-0 friendly victory over Ecuador in Chicago on Sunday.

Di Maria, named as captain for the game with Lionel Messi on the bench, bagged his 31st international goal in the 40th minute of an entertaining clash at Soldier Field.

Patient approach play saw Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo De Paul play an incisive pass to defender Cristian Romero in an advanced position on the edge of the area.

The Tottenham centre-back swiveled brilliantly and picked out Di Maria with a superb reverse pass and the veteran winger darted in before steering a deft low finish past Ecuador goalkeeper Hernan Galindez.

Di Maria made way for Messi on 56 minutes but the Inter Miami star was unable to help Argentina add to the scoreline.

Sunday's game in Chicago was one of two friendlies Argentina have scheduled before they kick off the Copa America on June 20 against Canada in Atlanta.

The reigning world champions face Guatemala in Landover, Maryland, on Friday as they wrap up preparations for the Copa America, which is being staged in the United States this year with teams from CONCACAF participating.