Lionel Messi scores a sublime free-kick to lead Argentina to a 1-0 win over Ecuador in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying.
- As the game was in a stalemate, Messi stepped in and delivered on his promise.
- The Inter Miami genius scored in the 78th minute before being substituted in the 89th.
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Lionel Messi guided Argentina to a narrow 1-0 win against South American rivals Ecuador with a sumptuous 78th-minute free kick.
As is customary whenever the World Cup winner steps over a dead ball situation, the Buenos Aires crowd held their breath before the Inter Miami man sent him over the top the wall and in the corner closest to the net.
Ecuador goalkeeper Hernan Galindez couldn’t do much but stop and watch Ecuador’s hopes of scoring a point in the first game of the CONMEBOL 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
The diminutive number 10 was replaced in the 89th minute to the applause and salute of his favorite son from Argentina.
In the other qualifiers, Paraguay drew 0-0 against Peru while Colombia won 1-0 at home against Venezuela.
Lionel Messi guided Argentina to a slim 1-0 win over Ecuador in World Cup qualifying.
Argentina dominated possession but found themselves naked on the counterattack within moments
Argentina fans hailed their World Cup savior before he handed them a delicious FK winner
World champions Argentina dominated possession but were frustrated in attack as they struggled to break through.
The first round of the CONMEBOL qualifiers continues on Friday when Uruguay host Chile before Brazil take on Bolivia.
With the goal, Messi tied his close friend and former Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez at the top of CONMEBOL WCQ’s all-time goalscoring charts with 29.
Argentina’s next World Cup qualifier will be on September 12 against Bolivia in La Paz.
In Messi’s absence, Inter Miami will play at home against Sporting Kansas City on September 9.