Wednesday Mar 29, 2023
The joy of FIFA World Cup success was revived for Argentina as the world champions thumped Curacao in a runway 7-0 friendly win, another night to remember for Lionel Messi.
It was a goal fest for Argentina as the Paris Saint-Germain star scored clinical hat trick in the first half, surpassing the 100 goals mark for the side, while Nicolas Gonzalez doubled the hosts' lead and Enzo Fernandez fired home from the edge of the box before the break.
The World Cup hero crossed the milestone after another significant feat of hitting the 800-goal mark for the club and country in the previous match against Panama, which was a 2-0 win.
The first 20 minutes into Tuesday's game were tough for the winners as Curacao put up a good fight until Messi hit the first goal. Nicolas Gonzalez doubled the hosts' lead shortly after with a header past Curacao keeper Eloy Room before Messi got his second with a trademark curling shot in at the far post in the 33rd minute.
Messi then set up Enzo Fernandez to fire home from the edge of the box for Argentina's fourth, and just two minutes later, the 35-year-old completed his hat-trick in the 37th minute with a simple finish following another pass from Lo Celso.
In the 78th minute just when the hosts appeared content to finish the game quickly, substitute Angel Di Maria got on the scoreboard from the penalty spot and Gonzalo Montiel sealed the rout three minutes from full-time.
Tributes and praises poured in for Argentina and their coach Lionel Scaloni, who said they "will never stop celebrating".
"I hope there will be more (Messi goals), he deserves all the praise and it's good that these goals had been on Argentine soil, that has a special value too," he added.