Argentine soccer star Leo Messi came to the rescue of his county’s team just when it needed him the most, ensuring it a place in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Messi overcame a rough start in the qualifying match against Ecuador, with a hat trick that gave Argentina a 1-3 victory .
In other qualifying matches, Paraguay was defeated by Venezuela, while Chile was eliminated after its defeat by Brazil. Peru and Colombia were tied 1-1; as a result, the Peruvians will move on to face New Zealand in the playoffs. Uruguay, meanwhile, assured itself a place in the World Cup with a 4-2 victory over Bolivia.