Ecuador 1-3 Argentina RECAP: Magnificent Messi hat-trick sends the Albiceleste to Russia

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Argentina WILL take part at the 2018 World Cup, after winning their final qualifier 3-1 in Ecuador.

Jorge Sampaoli’s side have struggled for goals this year and after a goalless draw with Peru last week sat sixth in the 10-man South American qualifying group.

Within 45 seconds their hopes looked all but over, as Romario Ibarra gave Ecuador - who had no qualification hopes - the lead.

Yet two goals in eight minutes from Lionel Messi put Argentina in front and turned the game on it’s head.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner added a third in sublime fashion in the 62nd minute, to ensure victory for the Albiceleste.

Follow all the action from a fascinating night in South America, as it happened, below:

Ecuador XI: Banguera; Velasco, Arboleda, Aimar, Ramirez; Intriago, Orejuela; Renato, Cevallos, Romario; Ordóñez.

Argentina XI: Romero; Mercado, Mascherano, Otamendi; Salvio, Enzo Pérez, Biglia, Acuna; Messi, Di María, Benedetto.

Scott Blair - UK News
By Scott Blair - UK News 11/10/2017 11:15:00