Messi Becomes First South American To Score 80 International Goals

Lionel Messi became the first South American to score 80 international goals as his Argentina side beat Uruguay in World Cup qualifying.

The Argentina captain opened the scoring for his side with a floated cross that somehow evaded the goalkeeper.

Rodrigo de Paul doubled Argentina’s lead before half-time, with Lautaro Martinez adding a third after the break.

“We played a great game. Everything worked out perfectly,” said Messi.

“Uruguay wait for you and they generate danger. Once we got the first goal we started to find space and the goals appeared.”

The first half was a classic end-to-end thriller with both sides hitting the woodwork before Argentina opened the scoring.

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez looked lively early on and had three gilt-edged chances, all from the corner of the six-yard box.

Two, including an acrobatic volley, were parried by goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, while his third effort came back off the near post.

The second half did not match the thrill-a-minute first but Argentina controlled the game.

It could have been worse for Uruguay but Muslera made a fine double save from Angel Di Maria and Messi in the last minute.

Argentina are now 24 games unbeaten and their latest win keeps up the pressure on Brazil in South America’s World Cup qualifying group.

The victory narrows the gap between Brazil and second-placed Argentina at the top of the 10-team group to six points, after Brazil drew 0-0 with Colombia earlier on Sunday.