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‘Bhai ye penalty kam, free kick zyada maarta hai’ – Fans react to Messi’s magical free-kick against Ecuador during World Cup 2026 Qualification

Argentina have been playing on a different level for the longest time and look set to qualify for the next edition of the FIFA World Cup

Lionel Messi

Argentina defeated Ecuador 1-0 in Buenos Aires thanks to a fantastic moment from Lionel Messi, who scored a brilliant free kick. Thanks to their captain, La Albiceleste had the ideal start to their 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign.

About nine months ago, Argentina won one of the most exciting global Cup finals in history to become the new global champions. They played Ecuador to start the qualifying round for the next Mundial scheduled for 2026 in the United States of America.

Since joining Inter Miami, during which he has had a fantastic debut, Lionel Messi came back and took the team’s command for the first time. Along with Lautaro Martinez as well as Nico Gonzalez, the 36-year-old began for La Albiceleste as coach Lionel Scaloni went with his effective attackers.

How did Argentina beat Ecuador in CONMEBOL Qualifiers?

Ecuador’s defence was gladiatorial as they put bodies in the way of the Argentine players’ intended targets to prevent them from having any obvious gaps. In the last seconds of the first half, Lautaro Martinez came the closest, smartly striking the post.

It was much of the same in the second half, as Messi’s offence did not get going until the 69th minute. The seven-time Ballon d’Or champion avoided many obstacles in Ecuador’s half until firing a soft shot into Hernan Galindez’s hands.

But nine minutes later, in Buenos Aires, the inevitable occurred, sending the local supporters into raptures. Lionel Messi was awarded a free kick when Lautaro Martinez got fouled at the edge of the Ecuadorian penalty area. The 36-year-old scored in his ninth straight international game after burying his attempt beyond the stranded Galindez, much as in his Inter Miami debut.

With 29 goals, he now shares the record with Luis Suarez for the most strikes in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying history. Exequiel Palacios replaced Messi during the 89th minute, and that strike was enough to lead his side to an important victory.

Fans react to Messi’s magical free-kick against Ecuador during World Cup 2026 Qualification: 


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