Football: Messi hat-trick gives Argentina 3-0 win over Bolivia

Reuters

Posted at Sep 10 2021 04:33 PM

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their third goal to complete his hat-trick Pool via REUTERS/Natacha Pisarenko TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their third goal to complete his hat-trick. Pool via Reuters/Natacha Pisarenko TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

BUENOS AIRES - Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick to give Argentina a 3-0 win over Bolivia in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday, moving him above Pele as South America's top scorer with 79 goals.

Messi got the opener after 14 minutes in Buenos Aires, dancing around the Bolivian defence before curling the ball into the net from just outside the box.

He made it 2-0 in the 64th minute after working a one-two with Lautaro Martinez and displaying superb footwork in a packed penalty box, then completed the hat-trick with two minutes left, crashing home a rebound from close range.

His 77th, 78th and 79th goals marked his seventh hat-trick for the national side and took him two above Pele in the South American scoring charts.

Argentina are second behind Brazil in the 10-team qualifying group for Qatar in 2022. The top four teams qualify automatically and the fifth-placed side goes into an inter-regional playoff.

Earlier on Thursday, Miguel Borja scored two goals in two minutes to put Colombia on their way to a 3-1 victory over Chile in Barranquilla.

He got the first from the penalty spot after 19 minutes and then ran through on goal a minute later to slip the ball under the keeper and make it 2-0.

Jean Meneses pulled one back for Chile in the 56th minute but Luis Dias restored Colombia’s two-goal lead with 16 minutes left.

Colombia are fifth in the qualifying table, tied on points with fourth-placed Ecuador, while Chile are eighth.

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