Two goals in the minutes before half time, one of them an unusually fortunate counter from Lionel Messi, helped Argentina on their way to a comfortable 3-0 win over Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
Eight minutes before the break Messi floated a cross into the area but it was missed by both advancing striker Nicolas Gonzalez and goalkeeper Fernando Muslera and somehow sneaked into the net.
It was his 80th international goal for his country – the most any South American player has scored – and he was presented with a CONMEBOL award for making history following the match.
Six minutes later Lautaro Martinez swung and missed at a chance on the edge of the box but the loose ball fell into the path of Rodrigo De Paul who made no mistake.
Martinez made up for the miss when he converted a low cross from De Paul 17 minutes into the second half.
‘We played a great game,’ said Messi. ‘Everything worked out perfectly.’
‘Uruguay wait for you and they generate danger. Once we got the first goal we started to find space and the goals appeared.’