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Messi leads Argentina to victory over Ecuador at the start of the road to the World Cup, today, Friday, October 9, 2020, 5:02 pm
The famous Argentine soccer star, Lionel Messi, led his country to victory over his Ecuadorian counterpart 1/0, Friday morning GMT, at the opening of the two teams’ march in the South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, within the activities of the first round of the qualifiers. Barcelona striker Messi scored the game’s only goal from a penalty kick in the 13th minute at the legendary “La Bombonera” stadium in Buenos Aires, and the Argentine national team will play its second qualifying match next Tuesday when it visits its Bolivian counterpart in La Paz. Messi led the Argentine Tango to score the first three points in these qualifiers, which are held with the participation of all ten teams in this continent in a one-round league system, so that the first four-placed teams qualify directly to the finals, while the fifth-placed player is playing a decisive match with a team from another continent for another seat in The World Cup.
The match witnessed the brilliance of the Argentine striker Lucas Ocampos, who played only his fourth international match with the team, his first official match with Tango after three friendly matches against Germany, Ecuador and Brazil.
In this match, the player celebrated the one-year anniversary of the start of his international participation with the Argentine national team, as his first international match was with the Tango when he participated as a substitute in the middle of the friendly match against Germany on October 9, 2019 and scored a 2/2 draw for the team. In light of the continuing global outbreak of “Corona” virus infections and the fact that South America is one of the regions most witnessing HIV cases now, the qualifiers are held in difficult conditions after their launch was delayed for several months. The teams participating in the qualifiers follow strict health measures to prevent their players from being infected.
The Argentine national team and its coaching team settle at the headquarters of the Argentine Football Association stadiums near the Buenos Aires airport, and the players and coaching staff do not leave this headquarters except for matches. The Argentine national team presented a show of medium strength in the first half and surpassed its Ecuadorian opponent in everything, especially since the Ecuadorian team did not make any real attempts to pressure its host. And the Argentine national team translated its superiority into the goal of early progress by signing the great star Lionel Messi from a penalty kick in the 13th minute.
The goal came when Lautaro Martinez pressed the Ecuadorian players near the midfield line, then Messi snatched the ball, advanced it and passed it longitudinally to Lucas Ocampos, who rushed towards the goal, to lead the latter into the penalty area, but was blocked by an Ecuador defender in the 11th minute. Messi hit the penalty kick to the left of the goalkeeper, who failed to stop the ball, to be the first goal of the Argentine Tango in these qualifiers. The Argentine national team resumed its offensive pressure at the start of the second half, hoping to increase its goal tally.
The Argentine national team almost scored its second goal in the match in the 48th minute, after a swift attack and a cross pass from the left side, Lautaro quietly prepared her to Ocampos, who met her with a direct shot, but Ecuador’s goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez brilliantly saved it to keep his team’s hopes in the match. The Argentine Tango, and even backwards from what it was in the first half, Messi and his companions remained the best in this match during the second half, but they failed to translate this into more goals, to end the meeting with the victory of the Argentine national team with a clean goal.
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