World Cup qualifiers: Lionel Messi scores on return to international duty


Barcelona star Lionel Messi made a winning return to the Argentina squad, scoring the only goal in the 1-0 victory over Uruguay. Messi had announced his retirement from international duty after Argentina failed to win the Copa America this summer. New Argentina head coach Edgardo Bauza had promised that he would try to persuade Messi to change his mind and his efforts were eventually rewarded.

Argentina are currently leading the South American World Cup qualification group while Brazil are in fifth place, despite a comfortable 3-0 victory over Ecuador. If they finish fifth they will miss out on automatic qualification to the 2018 World Cup as only the top four go through. The fifth-placed team will have to go through a play-off tie against a team from Oceania.

Neymar opened the scoring against Ecuador while 19-year-old new Manchester City signing Gabriel Jesus bagged two goals on his debut for the national team. Ecuador are now fourth in the group table while Colombia took their place in second position after a 2-0 victory over Venezuela. Paraguay defeated Copa America champions Chile 2-1 and moved into sixth place.

Argentina are 8/1 at Bet365 to win the 2018 World Cup while Brazil are also 8/1 to become world champions in Russia.

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