sport news Argentina 1-0 Ecuador: Lionel Messi's early penalty seals victory for hosts in ...

Argentina 1-0 Ecuador: Lionel Messi's early penalty seals victory for hosts as Lionel Scaloni's side enjoy perfect start to their World Cup qualifying campaign Lionel Messi put Argentina ahead in the 12th minute from the penalty spot The Barcelona star slotted home after Lucas Ocamps was fouled inside the area It had been almost a year since either team had played a full international The win extended Argentina's unbeaten run to eight games under Lionel Scaloni

By Reuters

Published: 06:28 BST, 9 October 2020 | Updated: 07:17 BST, 9 October 2020

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Argentina got their World Cup qualifying campaign off to the perfect start 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 around the empty Bombonera stadium and the chants of 'Messi! Messi!' were vindicated as early as the 12th minute when he put Argentina ahead from the spot after Lucas Ocampos was fouled inside the penalty area.

Argentina had lost just one of their last eight World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and although they could not add to the scoreline they never looked in danger of losing in a scrappy game against limited opponents.

Lionel Messi's penalty in the 12th minute ensured Argentina edged past Ecuador 1-0

Lionel Messi's penalty in the 12th minute ensured Argentina edged past Ecuador 1-0

Messi slots home from the spot to give the hosts the perfect start at the empty Bombonera

Messi slots home from the spot to give the hosts the perfect start at the empty Bombonera

Messi punished Ecuador after Lucas Ocampos was fouled inside the penalty area early on

Messi punished Ecuador after Lucas Ocampos was

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