Lionel Messi scored a hat trick last night to rally his country to a 3-1 win over Ecuador and a spot in Russia next summer.
Before the game, Argentina World Cup dream was almost fading away as they started the game lying in sixth place, with only the top four qualifying for the World Cup while the fifth goes to an intercontinental playoff against New Zealand.
The win means Argentina finished in third place, and that books them a place along with Uruguay, Colombia and already-qualified Brazil.
Peru will play next month’s playoff at the expense of Chile, who were eliminated.
Argentina likely needed a win to avoid elimination, but they were behind immediately, as Ecuador scored in the opening minute.
Messi leveled for Argentina in the 11th minute put them ahead seven minutes later, and completed his hat trick with his best of the night in the 62nd minute.
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