Lionel Messi scores 2 first-half goals for Argentina in World Cup qualifier vs. Peru

Lionel Messi scored two first-half goals for Argentina in its World Cup qualifier against Peru on Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Messi opened the scoring for Argentina in the 32nd minute and added a second goal 10 minutes later.
  • Messi now has 31 career goals in World Cup qualifying, which is a CONMEBOL record.
  • This was Messi’s first start in a match since Sept. 20.

Messi’s first-half performance

To no one’s surprise, Messi hasn’t done much running in this first half against Peru. But he has been intelligent with his runs, arriving inside the Peruvian penalty area to calmly score two goals. For his first, Messi initiated an Argentina counter attack and then finished a Nico Gonzalez cross with an impressive one-time strike.

It was Messi’s second-ever goal against Peru in nine games. Messi has looked much better tonight since suffering a hamstring injury in Argentina’s 1-0 win over Ecuador on Sept. 7. Messi’s second goal was another left-footed finish that he placed perfectly to the goalkeeper’s right. Argentina has completely outclassed Peru after 45 minutes. — Felipe Cardenas, international soccer writer

Messi’s goals

Required reading

(Photo: Cris Bourncle/AFP via Getty Images)

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