Lionel Messi made more history as he became the highest goalscorer in CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup Qualifying history following his brace for Argentina in their 2-0 win over Peru in Lima.
Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain Messi has been unfit since leaving his country’s match against Ecuador on September 8th due to fatigue, only playing three times since then, twice as a substitute.
He came off the bench in his country’s 1-0 win over Paraguay last week, but looked short of sharpness and failed to extend his incredible goalscoring streak for La Albiceleste. This time, however, he started for Argentina and delivered a dazzling performance.
Messi opened the scoring for Argentina after 32 minutes in style, starting and finishing the move. The Inter Miami star struck a first-time shot over the goalkeeper and into the roof of the net after receiving a low cross from Nico Gonzalez, scoring his 820th career goal. The 36-year-old eclipsed close friend Luis Suarez’s CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup qualifiers goalscoring record with his first goal of the night.
Ten minutes later, he doubled his and his side’s tally with a tidy finish from inside the box. It was his 31st goal in World Cup qualifiers, a South American record.
Argentina held off their hosts to emerge with maximum points from the encounter and continue their incredible unbeaten record that began after they lost to Saudi Arabia at the World Cup in Qatar. They have 12 points from four qualifiers and sit atop the CONMEBOL standings.