Messi stars as Argentina win big

FIFA World Cup 2022

A star performance from captain Lionel Messi guided Argentina to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Venezuela in their final 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at La Bombonera.

Premier League quartet Cristian Romero, Emiliano Martinez, Emiliano Buendia and Giovani Lo Celso didn’t feature for Argentina following a two-match suspension from FIFA for breaching health protocols.

Expectedly the Albiceleste started strong, thus it was no surprise when Nicolas Gonzalez brought a ball from Rodrigo De Paul under control ten minutes before halftime to net the opener.

The deadlock followed seconds after a through ball from Messi put Joaquin Correa clear before goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez produced a smart reaction save to deny the Inter Milan forward.

As Jhon Murillo came on for Miguel Angel Navarro after halftime, the South American champions hinted a second few minutes in through a cleverly worked shot outside the area from Messi.

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Venezuela remained on the back-foot near the remaining quarter after a ball from Nahuel Molina watched an unmarked Alexis Mac Allister guide the delivery wide with the goal in sight.

Argentina began to take control in the closing minutes and bagged a second goal as long ball from De Paul to Angel Di Maria allowed the winger to go run in on goal and finish neatly with a lob.

Roles were reserved for a certain Di Maria with eight minutes to go after he played a ball into the channels for Messi to control on the chest and finish from inside the attacking area.

There were opportunities for the host to add onto their healthy cushion, but a three-goal triumph was how matters concluded in Buenos Aires.

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