Argentina 3-0 Colombia: Messi magic settles qualifier
The Argentina international, and Barcelona superstar, scored a quite stunning free-kick in his country's World Cup qualifier, prior to strikes from Lucas Pratto and Angel Di Maria
Lionel Messi inspired Argentina to a much-needed 3-0 win over Colombia as they ended their four-match winless run in World Cup qualifying.
Messi struck with a stunning free-kick in the 10th minute before setting up Lucas Pratto for a first-half header at the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario on Tuesday.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was a constant threat for Edgardo Bauza's team, who desperately needed their win following a difficult recent period, and set up Angel Di Maria for a tap in for the sealer late on.
Radamel Falcao had a couple of first-half chances for Colombia, but they were otherwise outplayed.
The result meant Argentina moved above Colombia in CONMEBOL qualifying, a huge boost following losses to Paraguay and Brazil.
Bauza made three changes to his team comprehensively beaten by Brazil, Pablo Zabaleta, Enzo Perez and Gonzalo Higuain making way for Gabriel Mercado, Ever Banega and Pratto.
Colombia made numerous changes to the team that held Chile last time out, including welcoming back Juan Cuadrado and starting Falcao.
It was the hosts who started the better, and Nicolas Otamendi headed a Messi free-kick over the bar in the sixth minute.
Falcao had a tough chance just two minutes later before Messi opened the scoring in sublime fashion.