Argentina registred a fine win over Ecuador in their first match of the World Cup qualifiers.lional Scaloni’s men put up a fantastic show as they outplayed Ecuador in all departments of the game to bag three points with ease. The Albicelestes were undoubtedly better of the two sides on the pitch. The team dominated majority of the phases throughout the match as they had close to 71% of the ball possession. The team also created more chances and capitalised on them more often than their opponents. Following this win, Argentina are now at the top of the table while Ecuador are at the rock bottom as they are yet to earn any point.
The game began with each of the two sides seeking their momentum and trying to create chances to attack the opponent’s net. Argentina came close in the 12th minute when Messi’s direct free kick was delightfully floated into the penalty area for Lautaro Martinez. The inter striker however fairly to prod it past the goalkeeper thereby squandering a chance.
Shortly after, Mac Allister did well to square a pass into the path of Lautaro who smartly faked his shot to let Messi have a go for goal. The no.10 however saw his effort narrowly missing the target. In the dying minutes of the first half, Argentina came within touching distances of the opening goal. De Paul fired in a low cross towards the penalty area where Lautaro managed to get a telling touch on the ball. However an unlikely deflection saw the ball rattle off the post.
The second half began and with it continued Argentina’s domination. The side however failed to convert yet another massive opportunity to take the lead in the 56th minute. Messi’s cross at the near post was found by Mac Allister whose attempt on goal was pushed away by an unwitting Gonzales. With the goal still gaping the ball fell to Romero who missed the target from close range with his volley to everyone’s surprise.
It was however in the 78th minute that Messi took matters into his own hands and gave Argentina the lead from a set piece. The 36 year old’s free kick bboozled the goalkeeper and found it’s way over the wall and into the bottom right corner of the goal. This was Messi’s 104th goal for his country and 819th in his career. FT:- Argentina 1-0 Ecuador.