Lionel Messi’s Stellar Return: Scores Twice in Argentina’s 4-1 Victory over Guatemala

Lionel Messi made a triumphant return to the Argentina lineup, showcasing his brilliance with two goals and an assist in a commanding 4-1 win against Guatemala.

This match served as a crucial preparation for Argentina as they gear up for the 2024 Copa America.

Lionel Messi’s Stellar Return: Scores Twice in Argentina’s 4-1 Victory over Guatemala
Photo Credit: AP

Due to a hamstring problem that also caused him to miss two international friendly in March, Lionel Messi has been absent from Inter Miami.

In his first international appearance since November, Lionel Messi notched two goals and provided an assist as Argentina defeated Guatemala 4-1 to finish their 2024 Copa America preparations. After playing 35 minutes off the bench in Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Ecuador, another team vying for a spot in the Copa America, Messi completed the whole 90 minutes for manager Lionel Scaloni.

Due to a hamstring problem, he was forced to miss two international friendlies in March. This is one of the reasons for his six MLS absences from Inter Miami.

However, his impressive display on Friday, during which he also connected with the woodwork with a free kick and set up a sequence that resulted in a penalty kick goal, should allay Argentine worries ahead of their opening group play match against Canada in Atlanta on Thursday.

Also Read: FIFA World Cup 2022 Final Argentina vs France: Messi Grabs the World Cup and Completed Football

In addition, Lautaro Martinez scored twice for the reigning World Cup and Copa America winners against Guatemala, which is ranked 108th in the world by FIFA. This included Messi’s usual role during tournament play—scoring goals from the penalty spot for Argentina.

In the fourth minute, Lisandro Martinez, a defender for Argentina, unintentionally shoved the ball across the goal line after Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez diverted a chance from a free kick only as far as Martinez. This gave Guatemala an unexpected lead.

After just eight minutes, Messi tied the score when a poor pass by Guatemalan goalkeeper Nicholas Hagen put the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner in front of an open goal from roughly 12 yards away.

After Messi fed Valentin Carboni into the right side of the penalty box in the 38th minute, Nicolas Samayoa of Guatemala had to slide tackle the winger to bring him down, which led to Lautaro Martinez’s penalty.

In the 66th minute, Martinez scored his second goal after Messi received an excellent one-time pass from Enzo Fernandez over the top and finished it back across goal. Messi scored in the 77th minute after a deft give-and-go with Angel di Maria, chipping Hagen.

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