Lionel Messi was carry the hopes of a nation that reached the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup but faced an eimination from qualifiers this time around. Argentina needed a win against Ecaudor to enter the World Cup in Russia next year.
But, Ecuador scored 40 second into the match. Argentina were not on the verge of eimination and wouldn’t feature in the biggest spectable in international football. It was all true until Messi stepped up and saved Argentina.
In the 12th minute of the game, Messi scored his first goal and equalised for Argentina. The captain of the team made a quick run and passed the ball to Angel Di Maria on the left before the Paris-Saint Germain returned it to Messi inside the penalty box. Messi tapped in a low-footed goal.
WATCH LIONEL MESSI HAT-TRICK IN ARGENTINA vs ECAUDOR
Argentina still needed to win the game as a draw wasn’t enough to save them elimination from World Cup for the first time since 1970. Just eight minutes later, Messi once again received the ball outside the box and he ran past three Ecuador defenders and launched a left-footed strike which went over the goalkeeper and into the top corner.
In the 62nd minute, Messi completed his hat-trick after scoring what was the best goal of the night. From outside the box, he made a dash and with just the keeper to beat, he lofted the ball over his head to seal the win and the spot in World Cup 2018.