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Argentina vs Ecuador Live Score and Commentary, FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifiers ECU vs ARG

Ecuador 1 - 3 Argentina (Ibarra 1' ; Messi 13', 21', 64')
Updated: 11 October 2017 07:04 IST - Published: 11 October 2017 06:00 IST
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Thanks for reading, it's been an absolute pleasure. (and a privilege to have seen that Messi hattrick. If someone can explain how in the blue hell he managed to score that third goal of his, please do ping me @animenon19)

An awestruck Anirudh Menon signing off

Toodle-ooo!
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The four teams that will surely travel to Russia... 

BRAZIL

URUGUAY

ARGENTINA

COLOMBIA

PERU will head to the playoff vs New Zealand.

Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and the rest of the South American Champions CHILE ought to get themselves some new TV sets and watch Russia 2018 with VR goggles. That's the closest they'll come to playing in it. 

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PEEP! PEEP! PEEP!

LIONEL MESSI HAS HOISTED ARGENTINA ON HIS BACK AND CARRIED THEM ALL THE WAY TO RUSSIA. 

END OF. 
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93' OH ICARDI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MESSI ROLLS THE BALL ONTO THE PATH OF PEREZ, WHO DOES EVER SO WELL TO PLAY IN ICARDI... THE INTER MAN TAKES IT ROUND THE KEEPER, BUT BANGUERA DOES EVER SO WELL TO GET BACK AND SAVE THE SHOT
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92' TWO minutes of added on time; and that's been played
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91' Romero takes about an hour to get his goal kick ready
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90' Renato Ibarra tries another wild smack.... this one's broken through the Ozone
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89' Enner Valencia isn't going to give up just yet and he wins yet another foul off Biglia in a position from which Ecuador can send a decent delivery. Sampaoli battens down the hatches by taking off Salvio and bring on the massive frame of Fazio
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88' Argentina are getting penned back by Ecuador - the young men are giving their home crowd something to sing about... though the loudest singing is coming from the congregation that prays at the Church of Leo
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87' They win another freekick off that initial freekick - it's been that kind of half. 
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86' Uchuari has been excellent since coming on... he drives straight at Argentina once again, before Mascherano takes him out with an uncompromising body check. That's yellow for Masch and a promising freekick for Ecuador
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85' Uchuaro  does ever so well to wriggle his way past Biglia and power Ecuador forward.. shifting the ball out wide in the process, but Renato Ibarra's delivery's not upto scratch
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83' Di Maria, as is his wont, hobbles off with a niggle and Paredes is on to replace him. 
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82' OOOOO! Romario Ibarra won the ball off Messi with what looked like a fair challenge - setting Estrada free into the Argentine box in the process - but the ref doesn't quite like the challenge and responds to Messi's yelp of pain by giving him the foul
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81' Naughty! Renato Ibarra muay-thai kicks the shins off Acuna... but the ref doesn't quite catch that one. Lucky lad, the Ecuadorian. 
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80' Uchuaro picks out Renato Ibarra with a lovely ball and then flies into the box for the return, but the pass hits him midstride and it bounces off for a goal kick. 
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79' Enner Valencia attempts to go around Acuna, but in the process runs himself, and the ball, out of play. 
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77' OOOOO! ESTRADA! Christian Ramirez and Romario Ibarra work some space down the left before the former sends in a lovely cross that is thumped high over the bar by Estrada!
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76' Substitution for Argentina as Mario Benedetto is replaced by Mauro Icardi.... can the charismatic striker bag his first goal for Argentina? Meanwhile Ecuador take off Intriago for Uchuari
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75' Di Maria sends Ibarra into early retirement with an entirely wonderful piece of skill that leaves the Ecuadorian clutching at his shadow.... but Benedetto can't make the most of the pass that Di Maria digs out post that
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74' Renato Ibarra swings a freekick in...but it flies over everyone. Ramirez, though, salvages a corner
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73' Argentina press forward going for the ceremonial cherry on top of the cake, but Di Maria's ball into the box is hopelessly overhit 
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71' Ecuador, to their undying credit, haven't given up the ghost... they plow forward but Ibarra's shot screams into the thin air of Quito and out of the stadium
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70' Benedetto tries to feed in Savio behind the lines but Arboleda is simply too strong for him
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69' Biglia chips the ball over and beyond the Ecuadorian defence and onto Messi's feet.... Quito holds it's collective breath, but Messi chooses to pass, and it's cut off quite easily