Lionel Messi breaks Pele’s record with a hat trick against Bolivia – Sports News Update

Lionel Messi scored a hat trick to overtake Pele as the top international goalscorer in South American football history on Thursday when Argentina beat Bolivia 3-0 in the 2022 World Cup qualifier.

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as Argentina hammered Bolivia 3-0.

Lionel Messi scored a hat trick to overtake Pele as the top international goalscorer in South American football history on Thursday when Argentina beat Bolivia 3-0 in the 2022 World Cup qualifier. Messi lunged for his 77th, 78th and 79th international goals to keep Argentina firmly on course for next year’s finals in Qatar against a Bolivian side languishing at the bottom of the table. The 34-year-old Paris Saint-Germain striker, who made his 153rd appearance for Argentina, equalized on 14th minute with Pele’s long-standing 77-goal mark, shooting a defender and then firing a grandiose shot at Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Lamp over.

The Argentine captain then moved ahead of Pele on his second of the evening in the 64th minute, stormed into the Bolivian penalty area and played a one-two with Lautaro Martinez before scoring a close-range finish.

Messi completed the seventh international hat-trick of his career two minutes from time, burying a close-range rebound after a shot from the edge of the box was only parried by Lampe.

The great rival of the former Barcelona star, Cristiano Ronaldo, holds the all-time record for goals in international football with 111 out of 180 games

The win came just four days after Argentina embroiled in controversy with regional rivals Brazil in Sao Paulo, with the two teams’ qualification being abandoned after seven minutes on Sunday due to a COVID-19 controversy.

Brazilian authorities stopped the game after protesting the involvement of England-based players Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero from Tottenham and Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia from Aston Villa.

All four players, accused by Brazil of falsifying entry records into the country, played no role in Buenos Aires on Thursday after being fired from the squad by the Argentine Football Association.

There was no sign of a hangover from the controversy among Argentine players on Thursday as Messi quickly took center stage to top Brazilian grandmaster Pele’s record in style.

With Messi in typically mischievous form, Argentina might have scored more goals.

Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez, who also ruled out an offside goal in the first half, should have scored a goal in the 39th minute after a glorious chance from Messi.

Messi could also have possibly scored a second goal in the first half by skillfully teaming up with PSG teammate Angel Di Maria before shooting an iron shot just wide.

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However, the goals for Messi came in the second half when Argentina drove home.

With the victory, the two-time World Cup winner is in second place in the overall qualification ranking in South America with 18 points from eight games.

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World Cup qualification: Argentina cruise with Lionel Messi’s hat trick; Uruguay defeats Ecuador

Messi also became the top goalscorer in the history of South American football. The 34-year-old has scored 79 for Argentina, overtaking the Brazilian Pelé of 77.

Lionel Messi shone again on Thursday in the South American World Cup qualifiers and led Argentina with all goals in a 3-0 home win over Bolivia.

Uruguay had previously occupied third place in the table with a 1-0 win over Ecuador.

Messi also became the top goalscorer in the history of South American football. The 34-year-old has scored 79 for Argentina, overtaking the Brazilian Pelé of 77.

Leaders Brazil will finish the round later against Peru with 21 points.

Brazil and Argentina have one game less than the competition after this international window, as their Superclasico was interrupted on Sunday. FIFA has yet to decide what will happen to the game, which was shockingly halted after Brazilian health agents tried to remove four Argentine players for allegedly providing false information to authorities.

The top four teams in the South American qualifiers will get direct seats at next year’s World Cup in Qatar, and the fifth-placed team will go to an intercontinental playoff.

Messi opened the way for Argentina in the 14th minute in the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires in front of around 20,000 happy fans. He shoved the ball between the legs of a Bolivian defender and shot at goalkeeper Carlos Lampe from a distance from the right.

He showed once more style and added the second in the 64th minute. Messi and striker Lautaro Martinez exchanged four quick passes to put the six-time Ballon D’Or winner in a great position. He still had time to dribble past a defender before scoring a goal.

Messi completed his hat trick in the 88th minute from close range after a ricochet from Lampe.

Argentina is now in second place with 18 points. Bolivia remains in ninth place with six.

Uruguay drew a last-minute home win against Ecuador, which was crucial for his World Cup qualifying hopes. Gastón Pereiro’s stoppage-time header allowed Uruguay to add 15 points and finish third in Ecuador. With 13 points in fourth place, the Ecuadorians also remain well positioned to go to Qatar next year.

Colombia also took an important 3-1 home win against Chile with a great performance from striker Miguel Borja. He scored the first goal in the 19th minute, and added another one a minute later. Chile reduced the deficit with Jean Menezes in the 56th minute, but Luis Diaz scored the final goal for Colombia in the 74th minute.

Paraguay also defeated Venezuela 2-1 on Thursday. The hosts met with David Martinez and Alejandro Romero in the 7th and 46th minutes. The guests scored the only goal in the 90th minute with Jhon Kanzler.

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