The Argentine team won in La Paz against Bolivia by 2 to 1 with a great participation of Lionel Messi, especially in the second goal. The Albiceleste captain brought touches, mobility and those explosive flashes that characterize him.
For the second date of the South American Qualifiers heading to Qatar 2022, but he remarked in a press conference that there will be changes regarding the team that beat Ecuador in La Bombonera.
Four minutes into the first half Messi had a free kick. He looked for a center and no partner came to connect.
Then Lionel was very participative with touches, in a triangulation that ended with an assist to Leandro Paredes, who shot at the goal and passed very close.
At 20 he launched a corner kick that went past and on the next play he handed it over to Paredes to try another shot from long distance.
After Marcelo Moreno Martins’s goal, in the 24th minute, Leo moved to the hook position in three quarters of the court, occasionally moving to the right to join Rodrigo De Paul and try to generate for that sector.
Just after a good combination with De Paul, the ball reached Lautaro Martínez and Argentina was close to the equalizer. The same happened seconds later when Messi executed a free kick from the right that did not find the leg of any Albiceleste player.
The captain of Argentina was very mobile, trying to be a receiver of the ball to generate play. Thus arrived at 38 minutes a shot by Messi, after a pass from Paredes, which hit a Bolivian player and went to the corner.
But the clearest of the first half came at almost 40 minutes when a pass from Leo found Parades again, he hit a powerful shot that hit Carlos Lampe’s post.
The first half ended with a very participatory Leo and a 1-1 draw thanks to a goal by Lautaro Martínez after a counter commanded by Exequiel Palacios.
In the second half Messi was as shaky as in the first 45 minutes. After a good combination with Palacios, he failed to emerge to hit the goal and ended up losing to the rival’s mark.
Every time Bolivia attacked, Lionel would reach the center of the playing field, trying to recover air, without compromising so much on the mark and exploding in some against. This was how a discharge from Paredes, at 8 minutes, left Messi with a field to run. The captain entered the area with a dominated ball, tried a shot but the chance did not prosper when he hit a rival.
At 14 minutes, Messi showed his magic to play with De Paul, who played with Joaquín Correa and was fouled. Ideal free kick for Leo on the edge of the area, who ended up hitting the barrier when he searched below.
After 29 minutes of the complement, Messi was activated, made a game and handed Lautaro Martínez who entered diagonally and the shot of the 9 was well resolved by Lampe.
In the second half it was difficult for Lionel to position himself to finish off and be the one to define the play. Argentina’s second came when Lautaro pressed and caused a bad start from Lampe, the ball was left to Messi, who returned to play with the Bull and he left it for Correa to key the 2-1.
In the last minutes, the Albiceleste captain was key to managing the times and taking care of the result.
Lionel Messi delivered a total of 30 passes, with an 86.7 ERA. He kicked 3 times on goal, was fouled and created 5 chances to score. He was more of a playmaker than a playmaker and thus Argentina won in La Paz by Qualifiers after 15 years.