Lionel Messi led the Argentine national team to a precious 1-0 victory over Ecuador at the start of the South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which saw Uruguay win 2-1 against Chile.
The match took place at the famous Lapomoponera stadium in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, and Messi scored the game’s only goal in the 13th minute from a penalty kick.
Leo Messi: It was important to start winning because we know how difficult the qualifiers are.
The games are always tough, we were expecting this level and we haven’t played for nearly a year.
Anxiety also makes it difficult
— 𝔹𝕒𝕣𝕔̧𝕒 𝕊𝕥𝕒𝕗𝕗 (@Barca_Staff) October 9, 2020
In the other match, with a stoppage-time goal scored by Maximiliano Gómez, Uruguay escaped a home draw with Chile and settled the match 2-1.
Luis Suarez scored Uruguay’s first goal from a penalty kick in the 39th minute, and Alexis Sanchez equalized for Chile in the 55th minute, to worsen the situation until the deadly victory goal.
The South American qualifiers are held with the participation of the ten teams in the continent in the league system, and the teams in the first four places qualify directly for the World Cup, while the fifth team is playing the decisive playoffs to qualify for the World Cup with one of the other continents.