(EFE) – With a triplet by Lionel Messi, who surpassed Pelé as the highest historical scorer of the South American teams with 79 goals, Argentina defeated Bolivia 3-0 on the tenth day of the Qualifiers towards the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
A stellar Messi allowed the Albiceleste to celebrate before the fans at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires, on the day that marked the return of the public to the stadiums in the country.
The Argentine star and captain scored three goals to reach the mark of 79 goals in 153 games with the national team and surpass the historic number of Pelé, who had converted 77 in 92 games in Brazil, the maximum number of a player in South America.
The Brazilian Neymar is the one who comes closest to the feat of Messi and Pelé, because he scored 69 goals.
Messi was the top scorer for the Argentine team since 2016 when he beat Gabriel Batistuta’s 54 goals.
With the victory, Argentina consolidated in the second box of the classification with 18 units behind Brazil, while Bolivia continues in the penultimate position with six points.
After last Sunday’s frustrated classic against Brazil in São Paulo, the Albiceleste enjoyed the best version of their captain to celebrate before their public, in addition, the America’s Cup obtained in the Maracana.
The meeting played in the cold night of Buenos Aires began with a broad dominance of Argentina, whose epicenter was the axis between Messi and Di María seeking to connect with Lautaro Martínez.
In the 8th minute, Lautaro Martínez himself headed a cross from Di María but his shot went over the crossbar in what ended up being a warning of what five minutes later would be the opening of the scoreboard.
When the clock struck the 14th minute, Paredes made a big advance that ended in qualification for Messi who made a spout to Luis Haquín before defining in the upper angle of the goal defended by Carlos Lampe.
From that moment, Argentina had three clear opportunities to increase the score through Lautaro Martínez (a goal disallowed and ratified by the intervention of the VAR), Messi and Di María.
In the 43rd minute, Bolivia’s clearest opportunity came with a bad pass behind Rodrigo De Paul that was left to Henry Vaca, who turned around and took a shot that was barely deflected.
The beginning of the second half did not change the process of the game, which had the first opportunity of the local in the 48th minute with a shot from Paredes that demanded the intervention of Lampe, the great figure of the visit.
De Paul returned to rehearse another deflected shot before the 64th minute when a double wall from Messi and the entered Joaquín Correa ended with an accurate definition of Messi for the second of his personal and Albiceleste account.
Joaquín Correa was able to extend two minutes later but Lampe responded again and then a combination of Correa with Lautaro Martínez that ended in a poor definition by the Inter Milan striker.
And in the 88th minute Paredes tried again from the outside but Lampe’s rebound was left at Messi’s feet, who defined left-handed for his third goal and crowned a round night.
Then came the end of the match, the Olympic return with the America’s Cup trophy, the light show and fireworks with live music for the great day of Messi and the Albiceleste in the reunion with their public.