Lionel Messi hat-trick gets Argentina to the World Cup

Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia all qualify as Chile miss out after 3-0 Brazil defeat

 Lionel Messi throws his jersey to the crowd as he celebrates his team’s win over Ecuador. Photograph: Getty Images

Lionel Messi throws his jersey to the crowd as he celebrates his team’s win over Ecuador. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia qualified for next year’s World Cup on Tuesday after a dramatic last round of South American matches that also saw Peru clinch a spot in a playoff against New Zealand.

Brazil had already qualified as group winners.

Argentina, finalists three years ago but outside the qualifying spots going into their match against Ecuador, went behind in the first minute but an inspired Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick to guarantee his side one of the three automatic qualifying spots still up for grabs.

Their manager Jorge Sampaoli said his side cannot totally rely on the Barcelona attacker as they look to build on the win. Speaking after the result, Sampaoli said; “They won the game with authority. (The opposition) scored a goal and we did not despair.

“Today luckily the nationality of the best player in the world is Argentinian.

“We must be sure everything does not depend on Leo (Messi) (but) today he brought his great ability.

“I told the group: Messi did not owe the World Cup to Argentina, but football owed the World Cup to Messi.

“We should help him be in a the World Cup.”

Uruguay also went behind, to an own goal from Gaston Silva after 24 minutes, but they bounced back with two goals either side of half time to secure second place in the 10-team South American group behind five-time World Cup winners Brazil.

Martin Caceres, Edinson Cavani and two from Luis Suarez gave the home side a commanding lead before Diego Godin’s own goal made it 4-2.

A second-half goal from Paolo Guerrero gave Peru the chance of a first World Cup appearance since 1982 when his brilliant free kick in Lima cancelled out the opener from James Rodriguez.

Peru advanced to a playoff against Oceania champions New Zealand.

Five-times champions Brazil had already qualified before their 3-0 win in Sao Paulo against Chile, who failed to qualify.

Three second-half goals, one from Paulinho and two from Gabriel Jesus, saw the group leaders extend their unbeaten run in the qualifiers to 17 games.

Paraguay also missed out when they lost 1-0 at home to bottom side Venezuela.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.