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Lionel Messi scores stunning free-kick in Argentina’s victory vs Ecuador

Argentina edged out Ecuador 1-0 in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers thanks to a sensational free-kick from talisman Lionel Messi last night.

The Argentine skipper had a big chance to open the account inside the first quarter after a brilliant cut-back from left-back Nicolas Tagliafico but placed his shot wide.

Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez hit the crossbar on the stroke of half-time to leave the scoreline goalless at the break.

As the game entered the final quarter, La Albiceleste were presented with another great opportunity to break the deadlock after a free-kick was awarded to them outside the box.

Messi seized his opportunity and produced a magnificent goal, leaving the Ecuadorian goalkeeper helpless.

The strike proved decisive as Lionel Scaloni’s side took home three points.

Messi transferred his surreal club form to the national team, having experienced an incredible start to his spell in the United States with Inter Miami.

The 36-year-old has netted 11 goals and five assists for the Major League Soccer outfit. He led them to the Leagues Cup – Miami’s first-ever trophy in their history.

Messi’s strike against Ecuador has also seen him reach another milestone, surpassing his close friend and Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez as the highest scorer in South American World Cup qualifiers.

The 2022 World Cup winner is also one of the front-runners to win this year’s Ballon d’Or, and such top-quality performances will further solidify his position.

Tottenham Hotspur defender Cristian Romero produced a defensive masterclass for Argentina, proving too good for Ecuadorian attackers.

Winning the most tackles, recoveries and duels by any player on the pitch, Romero was awarded the Man of the Match award.

Argentina will lock horns with Bolivia next week.

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