Argentina 3-1 Ecuador: Messi saves Argentina from disaster, clinches World Cup spot

Argentina is going to the 2018 World Cup, and Lionel Messi is the reason why. The superstar put his country on his back, scoring a brilliant hat trick in Ecuador to clinch a direct spot to next summer's tournament with a 3-1 victory. 

After the visitors shocking went down a minute in, Messi came back with two goals in the first 20 minutes before making it 3-1 just after the hour mark.

Looking like it the country would miss the World Cup after the horrendous start, Messi gets his first ever hat trick in World Cup qualifying play and it puts the 2014 finalists where they belong -- in the most important competition in the world. 

For news, stories, results and more, follow us:

- @CBSSportsSoccer - @RGonzalezCBS - Facebook

CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Full Bio

Our Latest Stories