With doublet of Lionel Messithe world champion Argentina beat Peru 2-0 in Lima and extended his undefeated lead in the qualifying rounds South American for him world 2026.
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The goals for the fourth consecutive victory of the Albiceleste were scored by Messi to the 32 and 42 minutes of the intense match played at the National Stadium.
With Messi playing the 90 minutesArgentina achieved a important victory against a Peruvian teamwhich sinks into the basement of the pre-world championship.
Argentina reached 12 points in it first place of the tie followed by Uruguay, Brazil and Venezuela with 7. Peru continued in ninth place with one unit.
At the game level I think we grew. After winning the World Cup, we are confident, very loose, more united and firm. Hopefully we can continue growing," Messi said after the game.
If there is a good group and a good atmosphere in the locker room, things are much easier. We enjoy playing and spending time together," added the Argentine captain.
After 3 minutes, the Inter Miami star began testing from medium distance.
Indebted to his fans, Peru started the game showing some sparks of good football in order to achieve a favorable result that would redeem him before more than 40,000 fans that filled the National Stadium.
But the Albicelestewho played with his alternate blue and purple jersey, kept a intense pressure to seek his first conquest against a rival who left him space.
The Peruvians, led by the veteran striker Paolo Guerrerothey began to generate counterattacks in the first 20 minutes that were contained by the Argentine defense. To the 16a point-blank shot by Guerrero was saved by 'Dibu' Martínez.
After the initial 20 minutesthe world champion freed herself from marks and began to link good triangulations that forced their rival to retreat into their field waiting for the attacks.
At 32, Messi with a left-footed shot opened the scoring 1-0 for Argentina after assistance from Nicolás González. The goal silenced the Peruvian fans. Was the first goal of "The flea" to Peru in World Cup qualifiers.
Despite the score against, Peru did not lower its arms and opted to generate counterattacks to try to even the score, but AArgentina found its second conquest again at the feet of Messi at 42. Leo took advantage of a cross from Enzo Fernández from the left wing to score his first double in qualifying.
Messi thus reached 106 goals with the selection and became like all-time top scorer of the playoffs with 31 annotations.
In the complement, the team led by Lionel Scaloni maintained its offensive arguments of play to continue controlling the match, taking advantage of the defensive weakness of the Peruvian team.
The technician Juan Reynoso left Guerrero out in the second half and made four changes. At 47, Scaloni moved his bench and sent Germán Pezzella to the field.
With the changes, Peru won in attitude and became more daring in its offensive gamebut his players collided with a Argentine defensive wall impassable.
At 57, Messi scored again after a defensive errorbut the Venezuelan referee Jesús Valenzuela canceled for forward position from 10 after consulting with the VAR.
With a great collective game, Argentina continued to dominate the match and he was closer to his third conquest, but his players failed in the definition.
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