Argentina, the defending FIFA World Cup champions, thrashed Curacao in a 7-0 friendly victory, giving Lionel Messi another night to recall.
A hat trick by the Paris Saint-Germain player in the first half helped Argentina exceed the 100-goal mark for the country. Nicolas Gonzalez doubled the advantage for the home team, and Enzo Fernandez scored from the edge of the box just before halftime.
The World Cup hero reached the landmark after another significant achievement of scoring 800 goals for the club and country in the prior game against Panama, which resulted in a 2-0 victory.
The first 20 minutes of Tuesday’s game were challenging for the victorious team as Curacao fought bravely until Messi scored the opening goal. Shortly after, Nicolas Gonzalez gave the home team a two-goal advantage with a header past Curacao goalkeeper Eloy Room. In the 33rd minute, Messi added a second goal with one of his signature curling shots that found the far post.
The fourth goal for Argentina came from Enzo Fernandez, who was set up by Messi. Two minutes later, in the 37th minute, the 35-year-old finished off his hat trick with a simple finish after receiving a cross from Lo Celso.
When the home team looked satisfied to wrap up the match quickly in the 78th minute, substitute Angel Di Maria converted a penalty and Gonzalo Montiel completed the rout three minutes before the end of the game.
Tributes and praises poured in for Argentina and their coach Lionel Scaloni, who said they “will never stop celebrating”.
“I hope there will be more (Messi goals), he deserves all the praise and it’s good that these goals had been on Argentine soil, that has a special value too,” he added.