An uncertain time, Lionel Messi was spared against Jamaica on Tuesday. Entering shortly before the hour mark, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner nevertheless scored twice, allowing Argentina to win 3-0.
The Argentinian supporters who came in droves to fill the bays of the Red Bull Arena, in New Jersey, were finally rewarded. The time was bound to be disappointing, at kick-off, when Argentina showed up without Lionel Messi, spared by Lionel Scaloni due to a nasty cold. But the public was able to roar with pleasure shortly before the hour mark: the icon entered the lawn to replace Lautaro Martinez.
And if the Parisian playmaker did not seem to force, he nevertheless left his mark on the meeting by scoring two goals at the very end of the match in just three minutes. The first, scored with a sudden strike at the entrance to the surface, and the second, from a free kick, with a clever low shot again at the entrance to the surface. Two goals that gave a little more scope to the Argentine victory, launched from the 13e minute by Julio Alvarez, established in place of the star.
100th victory with Argentina
Now less than two months before the start of the World Cup, Argentina is posing as one of the main candidates for the succession of the Blues. It will be carried by an incredible series of invincibility, the Albiceleste having now lost no more since 35 meetings. It is the second longest streak of its kind, tied with Brazil (1993-1996), Spain (2007-2009) and Algeria (2018-2022) and two units from the record of the Italy (2018-2021).
As for Lionel Messi, in addition to registering his 89e et 90e goals with Argentina, he also won his 100e victory in 164 selections, joining a very closed club where he finds the Spaniards Sergio Ramos (131 victories in 180 matches) and Iker Casillas (121 in 167), the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo (112 in 189) and the Mexican Andres Guardado (101 in 177).