Argentina 7-0 Curaçao, summary: Messi hat trick, 100 goals, score, goals & highlights | International friendly
Argentina vs Curaçao: as it happened
Thank you for following the live coverage of Argentina 7-0 Curaçao, what a night of football we had.
Messi got his 100th Argentina goal, 100 days after becoming World Champion. Alien.
Make sure to check out en.as.com for all the latest sport news.
Argentina are the first national team since Brazil (28 years ago) to win their first 2 games after winning a World Cup.
Top of the World
It's official, Argentina will be top of the FIFA ranking in April, taking Brazil off number 1.
Seventh heaven for Messi and co.
Well, there was no way Curaçao were getting out alive once Argentina finally got going at the Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades, and they can consider themselves lucky that Argentina stepped off the gas in the second half.
During the final 20 of the first period it looked as though the record books were coming out again while Messi was running riot, grabbing a hat trick and surpassing 100 Argentina goals in typically brilliant fashion.
The second half was a lot more reserved, with the changes inevitably slowing the game down, but Argentina continued to party, and not just in the stands.
Di María and Montiel got on the scoresheet as Scaloni's side carved open the away team time and time again. In the end, the result was what we expected but full credit has to go to Curaçao who played well in moments and a special mention to Room, in goal, who was MVP for me, as he kept the score at single figures.
And Messi swaps shirts with Curaçao goalkeeper Room, who had a fantastic game.
Aaaaannnnd that's all!
What a party we have witnessed tonight!
1 added minute.
Messi finds space inside the box but his poked shot skews wide and Curaçao survive. I guess he had to miss at least one shot tonight.
Dybala gets the ball on the left side of the box, makes it to the byline and plays a simple cross to the back post that Montiel taps in to make it 7-0 to the World Champions.
WHAT A SAVE FROM ROOM!
Messi took the ball in the central area, swerved left and hit a low drive that Room pushed away. What a save.
Leandro Bacuna and VurnonAnita OFF
Felida and Roemeratoe ON
Messi to take the free-kick. from long range...
over the bar.
Ex-Leeds player VurnonAnita is booked for a foul on Nico González.
Bacuna is brought down and De Paul is penalised for the foul.
Muchachos rings out around the stadium; I don't think anyone is watching the game anymore.
We're back underway...
Martínez (GK) OFF
DI MARÍA SLOTS THE PENALTY PAST THE GOALKEEPER
Room went to his left and the winger placed the ball calmly in the opposite corner.
Di María to take the penalty...
A Di María shot hit Martina on the arm...
Foyth loses the ball inside his own box but the Curaçao striker is so surprised to get possession in such an area that he freezes and the defender pinches it back.
Leandro Bacuna sees his name in lights and tries a long-range shot that bobbles wide.
Dybala almost plays Messi through a gap in the defence after some silky footwork on the edge of the box bought himself an extra inch of space... but Curaçao have all the holes covered.
Kuwas and Van Eijma OFF
Severna and Troupee ON
A massive cheer as Messi goes to ground in the box but the referee says that Van Eijma didn't do enough to give away a penalty after the PSG forward crashed into him. No penalty.
HUGE CHANCE SAVED BY ROOM
A no-look pass from the alien played Nico in behind the Curaçao defence on the left side and Room was there again to stop the shot.
Di María almost gets in behind Floranus but the defender's touch from a De Paul long ball is sublime and he takes possession away from the home side.
Lo Celso and Lautaro OFF
DiMaría and Dybala ON
It's been a calmer second half from Argentina, as you might have imagined. The party is in full swing in the stands, thanks to our friends with the keyboard guitar.
Curaçao have a free kick in a wide area and the header from Van Eijma is saved by Martínez.
Just over the bar from Leandro Bacuna!
The two Bacunas are over the ball...
A dangerous free kick for Curaçao after Juninho Bacuna is fouled by Pezzella on the edge of the box. Apart from Room, he's been the best player for the Caribbean side.
Argentina get back well to stop a Curaçao attack that ends with a Floranus shot.
Curaçao, to be fair, are still playing as though it's 0-0. They are passing with confidence and flair of a side that is way above their ranking.
Van Eijma does amazingly well to stop a certain goal after he challenges Messi inside the box.
Janga and Gorré OFF
Antonisse and Zivkovic ON
ANOTHER SAVE FROM ROOM!
Lautaro again. This time he comes in from the left side and hits a ferocious shot towards the far post as the Curaçao defenders back off. Saved well by Room.
CHANCE FOR LAUTARO!
Lo Celso set up the chance with a lovely run from deep; he played a pass out wide on the right to Lautaro who decided to go for power instead of precision and Room's strong palm was enough to send the shot wide.
Kuwas hits a speculative shot straight into the wall.
A free-kick for Curaçao in the middle of the pitch, about 35-40 yards from goal.
Otamendi, MacAllister and Enzo OFF
Foyth, Palacios and DePaul ON
A good chance for Argentina as they win the ball back high up and breakwith Mac Allister, who plays left to Nico. The cross comes in towards Montiel but it's too high and the full-back can't make contact with the ball.
Messi to take...
Over the bar!
Argentina win a dangerous free kick right on the edge of the box as Mac Allister is brought down.
No changes for either side, by the way.
The music is still going on...
And we're finally off!
Curaçao kick us off and that's the end of my career as a musical commentator.
I've just spotted Messi on the pitch, waiting for the music to end. He looks about as happy as you'd imagine he would as he waits for a man with a keyboard guitar to finish.
I have to say, the crowd are enjoying this a lot more than I expected, given they're probably here to see the football team. But hey ho.
The man with the word 'happiness' tattooed on his neck is now leading the crowd as he sings his song.
Leo Messi shouldn't be long, I promise.
We even got a keyboard guitar solo with that song...
We're still having the half-time break as there are now people with baseball caps on backwards singing with one of those keyboard guitars.
Another record for Leo:
A World Cup and his 100th Argentina goal in the same season. Not a bad year in football, I suppose.
If only I had goat emojis on here...
To be honest, I think the Argentinian social media person has the goat thing ready to copy and paste, as between the goals it's surely impossible to type that so quickly. Then again, when you're doing it every time he scores, which is now 103, them I suppose you'd get used to it.
Well, that was fun!
Five goals in 16 minutes - did you manage to keep up?
It took until 20 for the home side to break the deadlock, and until then, it looked as though they might have to battle more than they did. Curaçao were impressive in both an individual and collective capacity, but once La Albiceleste got going, there was no stopping them.
Messi appeared to get annoyed just before the first goal and that seemed to wake up the rest of the team, as you might imagine it would. From them on, it was an onslaught.
No added time here from the referee... half time!
Juninho Bacuna is down injured after crashing into Montiel.
It's a devastating scoreline for Curaçao, of course, but I promise that they've shown good moments of individual quality. Unfortunately, matching up Vurnon Anita against Leo Messi might not have been, in hindsight, the fairest fight of them all.
Argentina are keeping the ball for now, giving my fingers a rest.
Oh no, they're attacking again...
Simple, ruthless football. Lo Celso plays in Messi who runs all the way from the halfway line to the goal before slipping it under Room who must be seeing stars at this point.
YOU WANTED GOALS, RIGHT?
Argentina attack again: Lautaro, Messi and Nico all threaten the box and the ball instead falls to Enzo on theedge of the box who decides it's his turn to score and he rifles a shot past Room.
Nico González breaks down the middle of the pitch and plays a simple pass to Messi on the right of the box. The alien steps inside and fires a low shot into the far corner of the goal. Easy.
IT'S THAT MAN AGAIN
YOU KNOW WHO
Curaçao almost get a pass over the top of Pezzella but Martínez comes out well again to collect the ball and stop the danger.
CHANCE FOR LAUTARO!
I don't have any more words for Messi, honestly. Alien boy. He took the ball in the central space - the Messi zone - and stopped dead.
One touch forward skipped past one defender and he then decided to roll the ball under his foot like a cat teases a mouse before eating it for dinner.
He advanced into the box and slipped the ball through a gap that an electron would struggle to fit inside and the pass landed at the feet of Lautaro, whose shot was saved.
Pim, pam, pum... Argentina start to play the ball around with flow and here come the olés from the crowd
Lads, it's Curaçao...
Back underway. Poor Curaçao have just felt the full force of the blue and white wave...
A corner was swung in and NicoGonzález got highest into the air to put the rebound in the net after seeing his shot cleared off the line with his first attempt.
Cruise control for Argentina.
Nico González tests Room again from the left after the restart. The fans are in pure party mode, this atmosphere is simply incredible.
He takes the ball inside the box, squirms to the right, avoiding two challenges from scrambling defenders and smacks a lot shot into the bottom left corner.
100 goals for the best player in the world.
Curaçao with some more controlled possession; they are keeping the ball away from Argentina with relative ease at the moment...
Kuwas does excellently well to play the ball to Vurnon Anita on the left after some silky footwork to get out of a tight space between Pezzella and Acuña.
Another chance for Argentina, this time for Nico González, who skews a cross/shot into the side netting from a tight angle down the left. Curaçao are leaving lots of space in the 'Messi zone', just outside their own box.
Lautaro skims a shot from distance off the post and it looks like Argentina have woken up.
HUGE CHANCE AGAIN! MESSI!
Messi took up a position between Van Eijma and Floranus at left-back, took the ball on the right after a Montiel cut-back and smacked a ferocious effort that was stopped by Room again.
I think Messi was getting a bit annoyed by Argentina's complacency.
He received the ball in the central space, turned and played a one-two with González before firing a shot at Room that was well saved.
CHANCE FOR ARGENTINA!
Curaçao are in a party mood too, it seems. They're flicking the ball around between them and playing no-look passes like they're on a bonus!
Mac Allister tries to slide a pass into Lautaro but it's cut out easily by Martina.
The away side are popping the ball around excellently well; Gorré is almost played in behind after a nice move down the left side.
Interestingly, Curaçao aren't sitting deep at all, preferring to hold a high defensive line and win the ball back in the rival half of the pitch.
Messi broke behind the defence on the right side and played a perfect ball across goal for Lautaro to slide into an open goal but the striker got the ball caught under his feet and the chance was blown to open the scoring!
WHAT A CHANCE FOR ARGENTINA!
How did Lautaro miss that?
He missed an open goal from one yard out!
Martínez comes flying out of his goal after a lovely move from the away side almost saw Kuwas played in behind...
Argentina start with the ball at the back, slowly keeping possession as Curaçao sit off in a 4-4-2 mid-block.
Acuña makes the first burst forward but the ball rolls out for a goal kick.
And we're off!
Lautaro kicks the game off from right to left.
Argentina may win the match, but they don't win the kit battle...
Here's a reminder of the teams:
Martínez; Montiel, Otamendi, Pezzella, Acuña; Mac Allister, Enzo, Lo Celso; Messi, González, Lautaro
Room; Rhu-Endly, Gaari, Van Eijma, Floranus; Anita, Bacuna, Bacuna; Gorré, Kuwas, Janga
The Curaçao national anthem was lovely, but the Argentinian one takes the biscuit.
It's being played by a live violin player and the whole stadium is rocking.
And here they are! It's time for the national anthems.
But first, a huge Argentina shirt is being rolled onto the pitch...
The players are in the tunnel...
And a huge cheer goes up when Montiel scores his shot! What a noise! I don't blame them for watching those highlights again. And again. And again.
The atmosphere is building!
The stadium lights are out and there is a huge projection of the goals from the World Cup being played out across the pitch.
Messi has just scored his penalty in the final...
You may recognise some of the Curaçao faces...
Do the names Leandro Bacuna and Vurnon Anita ring any bells?
Both players have plenty of Premier League experience, something Messi can only dream of!
Bacuna played for Aston Villa and is now at Watford; Anita was at Leeds in the Championship after a spell at Newcastle United.
And here is the Curaçao starting XI:
Boavista's Kenji Gorré steps in for Zivkovic, which is the only change for Bicentini's side.
Watford's Leandro Bacuna also starts.
And my, it's a strong team...
Montiel - Pezzella - Otamendi - Acuña
Enzo - Lo Celso - Mac Allister
Messi - González - Lautaro
Curaçao's last 5 games:
Mar 26: Canada 2-0 Curaçao
Sep 27: Indonesia 2-1 Curaçao
Sep 24: Indonesia 3-2 Curaçao
10 Jun: Canada 4-0 Curaçao
7 Jun: Honduras 1-2 Curaçao
Their last win came in June 2022, but that was their only victory a whole year of losses.
Curaçao beat the British Virgin Islands 8-0 in June 2021, meaning they have just two wins in two years... is this game tonight going to be their win of 2023?
Remember, here is all the information you need on how to watch tonight's game, as well as follow the live text coverage which has been described as both "entertaining" and "informative". Thanks again, mother.
We've got kit news...
Ah, the good stuff. Curaçao are playing in their black and gold third kit, and it's a beauty.
Argentina will be in their blue and white stripe home kit, the same one they wore at the World Cup, except now they've got 3 stars on the chest.
Messi's numbers vs Panama
Will we see a game like this tonight from the best player in the world?
This season, Messi has 13 goals and 13 assists in 23 games played. What opinion other than 'he's the best ever' are you allowed to have?
When he's putting in performances like this in a post-World Cup tour friendly game, where everything was focussed on singing, dancing and lifting World Cup replica trophies, what can we expect from him in round two tonight?
Here's the Curaçao 23-man squad
The starting XIs will be out soon but for now here's the squad for the game.
Darryl Lachman is the only absentee.
Curaçao pre-match quotes:
“I expect we might end up playing on our own half some time, but… *grins* No, what I expect is that we’re going to absolutely enjoy this. We know we’re playing against the champions, with players in every position with much experience and that have played World Cups before.”
“Our game-plan is clear, we know how we’re going to play. But of course we’ve agreed that as soon as we get Messi in a short space, we’ll try to get him in one big rondo. If that works, then we’re satisfied.”
“My impression is that Argentina’s the craziest footballing country there is. Very passionate fans. A ton of journalists. All this for our little Curaçao… it means something. On the streets everyone’s very sympathetic, not at all hostile. It’s like they’re all supporting us.”
Here is the referee for tonight
The whistle is in the hands of Uruguayan Gustavo Tejero, who actually refereed the previous Argentina game against Panama!
Messi's magic numbers
Lionel Messi - who is the guy on the left - is just one goal shy of 100 for Argentina, and he could well make it happen tonight. It might have come earlier, had he not hit the post 3 times against Panama.
He can reach the magic number in Santiago del Estero, the place where Argentina played out a 1-1 draw against Chile in the World Cup qualifiers.
Guess who scored that night...
Want to watch the game? Here's everything you need to know, including a very daring prediction.
Curaçao team news:
Of course, there are two teams playing today. Curaçao's population may only be around 150,000, but they have a football team that doesn't get hammered all that often and can regularly put in fine performances well above their perceived stature. And the beaches are sublime.
As for their team news, Jurien Gaari got sent off in the last game for the side but since it was an international friendly it will have no repercussions and he is OK to play.
The party atmosphere continues all across Argentina, and CONMEBOL have even got involved, celebrating the World Cup win with a statue of Messi. And fair play, as it actually looks like him.
Somewhere, on the other side of the world, Ronaldo remembers that he too has got a statue.
Team news ahead of the game:
Well, there are no injuries to be aware of but manager Lionel Scaloni is expected to make changes to the side that beat Panama 2-0 at the Estadio Monumental.
Messi, however, is expected to retain his place in the side.
It's a sell-out!
Although it's not the World Cup final, this game is a hugely popular event for the fans as they all want to get the chance to see the world champions on home soil.
1.17 minutes was all that was needed for 39,086 fans to snap up the tickets to the game at the Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades; over 300,000 tried their luck.
Hello and a very warm welcome to the AS USA live coverage of the friendly between Argentina - the World Champions - and Curaçao.
La Albiceleste continue their post-World Cup party with another stop in the country, this time Santiago del Estero, to celebrate the victory with the fans.
It’s Joe here for the football fun and I’ll be guiding you through the action.
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