Messi hat-trick secures World Cup spot for Argentina

11 October 2017 05:36

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Messi hat-trick secures World Cup spot for Argentina

Argentina overcame a scare to book their place in the World Cup finals after beating Ecuador away for the first time since 2001.

Jorge Sampaoli's side had Lionel Messi to thank - as his hat-trick rescued a side which found themselves 1-0 down in the first minute.

Argentina went into the clash needing a win to book a place at the finals in Russia - and Messi cancelled out Romario Ibarra's winner with an 11th minute strike.

Two more goals from Messi either side of half-time in Quito meant his side qualified for their 12th consecutive World Cup, finishing third in the group.

Uruguay cemented their second place in the group with a 4-2 win over Bolivia.

The home side scored all six goals in Montevideo with Gaston Silva and Diego Godin both finding their own net. Martin Caceres, Edinson Cavani and a brace from Luis Suarez sealed the three points.

Brazil were already sure of their place in Russia and swept to a convincing 3-0 win over Chile in Sao Paulo.

The visitors were also hopeful of heading to the finals, but Alexis Sanchez's side failed to fire on all cylinders as La Roja crashed out due to a late equaliser in the Peru v Colombia game.

Paolo Guerrero scored in the 74th minute in Lima after James Rodriguez was on target for Colombia.

The Peru goal helped push them into fifth place in the table on goal difference - with Chile falling to sixth - as they booked a two-legged play-off against New Zealand.

In the night's other fixture, Paraguay's slender hopes of playing in Russia next summer were dashed by bottom-of-the-table Venezuela, a Yangel Herrera goal on 84 minutes securing a 1-0 win.

Source: rte.ie

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