Thursday, May 23, 2024
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MESSI leads Argentina to victory against Ecuador

Lionel Messi netted a second-half goal, propelling Argentina to a 1-0 home victory against Ecuador in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The reigning world champions dominated possession but faced difficulty in breaking the deadlock.

Captain Messi, however, continued his exceptional form by converting a free-kick in the 77th minute. This goal ties Messi with Uruguay’s Luis Suarez as the all-time leading scorer in South American qualifying with 29 goals.

“We played against a great team, with good players and physically strong,” Messi told reporters.

“Everyone always wants to beat Argentina and even more so now that we are the world champions. We can’t relax, we have to improve on what we’ve been doing.

“The objective is to qualify for the World Cup again. We enjoyed what we did but we have to look ahead.”

“It’s a pleasure for me that we are both there,” said Messi, who has now scored 104 international goals. “Given what the qualifiers mean for us in South American football, it’s a very nice thing for both of us.”

Argentina’s next match is against Bolivia on Tuesday.

In other qualifying matches, Paraguay played to a goalless draw with Peru, and Colombia secured a 1-0 home win over Venezuela.

The first round of CONMEBOL qualifiers continues on Friday with Uruguay hosting Chile and Brazil taking on Bolivia.

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