World Cup qualifiers: Messi offers Argentina profitable begin

Buenos Aires: Lionel Messi put his Barcelona troubles behind him to fire Argentina to an opening 1-0 victory over Ecuador in World Cup qualifying last night. The 33-year-old great has been in open conflict with his club but it had no detrimental effect on his form as his 13th-minute penalty was the difference in a tight encounter.

In Montevideo, Luis Suarez scored a record-extending 60th international goal for Uruguay before substitute Maxi Gomez bagged an injury-time winner against Chile. Atletico Madrid forward Suarez opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 39 minutes. Inter Milan’s Alexis Sanchez equalised with a low shot on 54 minutes but Gomez had the last word with a stunning half-volley from 20 yards to complete the 2-1 win. Agencies

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