In Santiago del Estero, Argentina dominated Curacao with a resounding 7-0 win, although Lautaro Martinez, the Inter striker, missed a golden chance to score.
Despite Lionel Messi’s impressive first-half hat-trick that helped him surpass 100 international goals, Martinez has been unable to score in his last nine appearances for Argentina.
Although Argentina’s triumphant World Cup victory last year but Martinez faced criticism for his poor performance in Qatar, where he missed several clear-cut chances.
The striker missed an open goal from just a few yards away during a match against Curacao, and although he had attempted similar shots before, none of them were as simple as this one.
Lautaro Martinez’s awful miss vs Curacao
Messi, in his characteristic style, skillfully navigated past several Curacao defenders in the third minute of the game. He then passed the ball to Martinez, who had a clear shot at an open net. However, Martinez stumbled and failed to make contact with the pass from his captain.
Check out the miss below:
VIDEO: Lautaro Martinez’s miss vs Curacao
— Argentina Gol (@BocaJrsGol) March 28, 2023
Martinez’s current lack of goals stands in stark contrast to his prolific form from the same period last year, when he was scoring goals with ease.
At that time, he had already scored 21 goals in 37 appearances for his national team, demonstrating his ability to perform exceptionally on the grandest stage.
Argentina thrash Curacao
Despite Martinez’s inability to score, Argentina secured another convincing victory. Messi, who has been in outstanding form for the national team, maintained his impressive run and currently ranks third among all-time international scorers, trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo (122) and Ali Daei of Iran (109).
The team’s other goals were scored by Enzo Fernandez, Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Montiel, and Nicolas Gonzalez. Nonetheless, the spotlight was undoubtedly on Messi, as 42,000 devoted fans chanted his name in unison, further attesting to his status as a football legend.
VIDEO: Lionel Messi scores hat-trick vs Curacao
MESSI WHAT A CRAZY HALF, ENJOY THE GOALS!!!! 🐐🐐🐐 pic.twitter.com/f9nwKcoUeS
— mx ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@MessiMX30iiii) March 29, 2023
After 20 minutes of play, the Paris Saint-Germain player scored his first goal of the evening by receiving a pass from Giovani lo Celso, who is currently on loan from Tottenham Hotspur to Villarreal.
Nicolas Gonzalez assisted Messi in scoring his second goal, and Lo Celso provided the pass for Messi’s third, all in the span of just 37 minutes.
With a total of 102 international goals, the 35-year-old Messi has an enormous lead over Argentina’s second-highest scorer, Gabriel Batistuta, who scored 56 goals throughout his career.