Argentina received their World Cup qualifying marketing campaign off to the right begin on Thursday when Lionel Messi`s early penalty gave them a 1-0 win over Ecuador in a lacklustre match in Buenos Aires.
The Argentine FA piped fan noise across the empty Bombonera stadium and the chants of “Messi! Messi!” have been vindicated as early because the 12th minute when he put Argentina forward from the spot after Lucas Ocampos was fouled contained in the penalty space.
Argentina had misplaced simply one among their final eight World Cup qualifiers in opposition to Ecuador and though they might not add to the scoreline they by no means seemed at risk of dropping in a scrappy sport in opposition to restricted opponents.
“It was important to start with a win because we know how difficult the qualifiers are and all the matches are going to be as hard as this one,” Messi stated.
With the South American qualifiers twice pushed again from the scheduled begin in March, it was nearly a 12 months since both group had performed a full worldwide and Messi stated that inaction contributed to the poor spectacle.
“We hoped the level of play would be different but it’s been almost a year since we played together, this was our first game back and the nervousness makes it complicated,” the Barcelona striker stated.
The three factors, nevertheless, have been greater than welcome for a facet that hasn`t gained a serious title since lifting the Copa America in 1993.
The win, which prolonged Argentina`s unbeaten run to eight video games underneath coach Lionel Scaloni, was additionally constructive on condition that seven of the beginning line up had by no means performed a World Cup qualifier beforehand.
Argentina`s subsequent sport is on Tuesday in opposition to Bolivia in La Paz, whereas Ecuador return dwelling to face Uruguay, who beat Chile 2-1 of their opener earlier on Thursday, the identical day.
The high 4 groups in South America`s 10-team group qualify mechanically for Qatar 2022 and the fifth-placed facet goes into an inter-regional playoff.