It was a vintage display from Messi, delivering for Argentina when it mattered most. His actions erased fears that the two-time champions might not qualify for next year's finals in Russia.
The magician yet again was to the rescue when the country needed the most! Argentina were struggling after a opening blow by Ecuador after Messi revived the visitors with a spellbinding hat-trick!
Lionel Messi scored a brilliant hat-trick as Argentina sealed their place at the 2018 World Cup. The game concluded with a 3-1 victory over Ecuador on Tuesday.
Barcelona superstar single-handedly rescued Argentina’s World Cup hopes. Trailing by an early Ecuador assault as the South American giants came from behind to win in Quito.
Romario Ibarra had given Ecuador a shock lead after only 38 seconds giving them a dream start. But Messi struck twice inside the opening 20 minutes to give Argentina the lead before adding a third later.
It was a vintage display from Messi, delivering for Argentina when it mattered most. His actions erased fears that the two-time champions might not qualify for next year’s finals in Russia.
Argentina had got off to a disastrous start, conceding a goal in the opening minute. Ecuador took full advantage of hesitancy in the visiting side’s defensive ranks.
Argentina stalwart Javier Mascherano failed to deal with a speculative long ball forward from Dario Aimar, directing a headed clearance into the path of Romario Ibarra. It was the worst possible start for a shaky Argentina. They kicked off chasing their first victory in the Ecuadoran capital since 2001.
For a while Argentina struggled to get to grips with a vibrant Ecuador, who looked to push forward at every opportunity.
But it was not long before Messi stamped his authority on proceedings, hauling his team back into the contest with a composed opening goal. Eight minutes later and he had fired Argentina into the lead with another crucial strike. Messi’s double-blast galvanised Argentina, who gradually grew in confidence through the remainder of the half, carefully maintaining possession to frustrate Ecuador’s hopes of regaining the initiative. He then completed his hat-trick with the best goal of the night in the 62nd minute.
The Messi-ah never fails at big events and has stood the test of time! Long live Messi!