The little magician played just 25 minutes 7-0 win over Bolivia but scored twice and also became the first Argentine player to score against all South American national football teams
Image Credit: FCB One Touch – Twitter
Lionel Messi netted a brace in 25 minutes as the Argentina captain helped his team to a comprehensive 7-0 win over South American side Bolivia in an international friendly in Houston.
Messi started on the bench for the Albicelestes and was introduced on the 65th minute by Argentina coach Tata Martino and the Barcelona man didn’t take long to get on the score sheet as he fired a header into the back of the net two minutes later to make it 5-0 for Argentina, a goal which saw him become the first Argentinian footballer to ever score against the other 9 national football teams in the CONMEBOL federation.
Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Ezequiel Lavezzi bagged two goals each, along with a debut goal from Angel Correa which handed Argentina a comfortable 7-0 drubbing of Bolivia in Houston on Saturday, September 4th.
It was the first time Tata Martino’s Argentina were in action since their Copa America loss to Chile in July, and the team were back and better, proving why their ranked as the number one football playing nation in the world by FIFA.
Ezequiel Lavezzi opened the scoring for Argentina as early as in the sixth minute after he latched on a perfect through ball from Sergio Aguero and drilled his effort low past Bolivia’s goalkeeper Daniel Vaca.
It was all too easy from the beginning for Argentina as they continued to dominate possession and they got their second of the night in the 33rd minute after Juventus midfielder Roberto Pereyra played a neat ball into the path of the on-form Sergio Aguero and the Manchester City striker neatly lofted his strike over Vaca.
The third goal would come soon with Aguero involved again. He and Lavezzi combined well for Argentina’s third of the night after the EPL’s top scorer for last season played a nice ball into the path of the pacey Paris Saint-Germain striker, who made no mistake as he fired his shot under Vaca.
It was as if the pair were having an exhibition as they combined once again for Argentina’s fourth goal. Aguero got his second goal of the night after he met Lavezzi’s cross and chipped the ball into the net after Bolivia’s goalkeeper Dani Vaca had rushed out of his area, 4-0 for Argentina.
It was now the moment everyone had been waiting for as Barcelona star Lionel Messi was introduced in the 65th minute to replace Nicolas Gaitan and it didn’t take long for the talisman to make his presence felt as he got his name on the score sheet less than two minutes later. A cross from Milton Casco from the edge of Bolivia’s box found Lionel Messi in the area who rose above his marker to head home past Dani Vaca to make it 5-0 for the Albiceleste.
The Barcelona man then got his second of the night from Sergio Aguero’s third assist of the game. The City striker was involved for the final time as he played another fine through ball that split the Bolivian centre-backs to find Messi and the Barcelona forward didn’t make any mistake as he fired home after rounding Vaca.
Atletico Madrid striker Angel Correa then rounded things off for Argentina as he latched onto a Matías Kranevitter pass to fire home a first time shot and give Tata Martino’s men a beautiful 7-0 win.
Messi’s brace meant he now has a total of 48 goals for the Argentina national team and is just 8 away from catching the legendary Gabriel Batistuta who registered 56 for the Albicelestes before hanging his boots.
Messi’s first goal made him the first and only Argentine player to score against all the other South American teams. Gabriel Batistuta was the closest to breaking this record but didn’t score against Ecuador throughout his career.
Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano stayed on the bench throughout the game and dint feature as Tata Martino sought to make use of the youngsters.