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Lionel Messi hat-trick sends Argentina to Russia 2018 World Cup

Lionel Messi scores hat-trick to book a spot for Argentina at Russia 2018 World Cup

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A superb hat-trick from Barcelona star Lionel Messi secured a 3-1 victory over Ecuador and World Cup qualification for Russia 2018.

Messi and Argentina were in danger of missing next year’s showpiece tournament for the first time since 1970 when Romario Ibarra gave Ecuador a 38 seconds lead.

But 12 minutes into the match, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner equalised expertly after playing a neat one-two with Angel Di Maria and his thunderous effort nine minutes later completed the comeback and ensured Argentina led at the break, before he sealed the great escape with a glorious chip just past the hour-mark.

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