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Key Events

G. Montiel
P. Dybala
7 - 0
Á. Di María
Penalty Goal
6 - 0
L. Messi
G. Lo Celso
5 - 0
E. Fernández
L. Messi
4 - 0
L. Messi
N. González
3 - 0

Match Stats

59% 40%
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 17 0
Total Passes 577 389
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That's all from us, we hope you enjoyed the game. Until next time, goodbye!
Argentina round off a successful international break with nine goals scored across their two games, with not a single one let in at the other end. Sterner tests will soon come, but for now, the world champions appear more than happy on the crest of the wave of positivity they're currently riding, with no hangover from Qatar 2022 detectable whatsoever. Curacao were always going to be second-best, but with CONCACAF qualifying matches coming up, they can take positives from this game despite the heaviness of the scoreline.
Only getting on the scoresheet once, Nicolas Gonzalez was continually busy with the ball at his feet, creating three chances and securing an assist on the way. Four of the Fiorentina striker's five attempts were on target, while he also managed 19 passes in the final third and succeeded in six of his seven duels, winning possession four times. Chance.
Full-time, and despite a much less dominant second half in terms of goalmouth action, a late pair of goals see the Albiceleste romp home with a 7-0 win. Curacao continued to plug away in that second period and even created chances of their own, but goals from Di Maria and Montiel inside the final quarter put the icing on a tidy cake largely of Messi's making. The talisman scored his 100th international goal on his way to a ninth international hat-trick, and the Albiceleste's victory was never in doubt as soon as the first of those strikes went in.
90' We'll play a solitary minute of added time as Argentina close in on a resounding victory here.
89' BLOCKED!! Messi and Di Maria play a frantic one-two inside the Curacaoan box, but the former's shot takes a nick off Troupee's calf and deflects wide!
P. Dybala
87' Great work from Dybala there, picking out a player who certainly wasn't in the Roma forward's line of sight when he first received that ball.
G. Montiel
87' GOOOOOAAALLL!!! There's number seven!!! Dybala does brilliantly down the left side to beat two defenders before crossing, and Montiel's arriving late to fire home, despite Room's best efforts to keep the ball out! A late Argentine flurry sees them go 7-0 up, the second goal of a quieter second half, and with the play we've seen tonight, there could be more to come.
86' SAVED!!! Argentina fly forward on the break and Messi dances away from his marker on the edge of the box. His 20-yard effort is low and placed, but Room is equal to it and tips the ball wide of the upright!
K. Felida
L. Bacuna
84' On half of the Bacuna brothers, Leandro, comes off, with Kevin Felida set to see out the game in midfield.
G. Roemeratoe
V. Anita
84' The booked Anita also comes off, with Godfried Roemeratoe taking his place in the engine room.
V. Anita
Yellow Card
82' Anita climbs up the back of Messi to prevent him bringing down a loose ball, and the midfielder is shown a yellow card - the second booking in as many minutes!
R. De Paul
Yellow Card
81' A high boot from De Paul sees him catch Juninho Bacuna very late indeed, and the referee rightfully brandishes a yellow card, for the very first time in this game!
F. Armani
E. Martínez
80' An odd late substitution, with starting goalkeeper Emi Martinez replaced by Franco Armani for the last 10 minutes. He'll likely not see much trouble though, with both keepers all-but nailed on to keep a clean sheet here.
Á. Di María
Penalty Goal
78' GOOOOAAALLL!!! Six of the best!!! Di Maria steps up and coolly slots his penalty into the bottom corner, and sends Room the wrong way in the process to make it 6-0 to the home side!
78' PENALTY!!! Argentina have a chance to go six up! Di Maria cuts onto his left foot and shoots, with the ball ricocheting off Martina. The referee points to the spot, saying the Curacao captain has handled the shot, and the Albiceleste will step up from 12 yards!
77' After one move on the counter breaks down, Argentina keep the ball on the edge of a crowded Curacao box. It falls for Di Maria, whose drilled effort is blocked away by the visitors!
75' With 15 minutes to go in this half, Argentina are yet to breach Curacao's defences in the second period. They'll still comfortably win this game, but have been limited to four efforts in this half, compared to 15 in the first, despite an increase in possession from 53.6 per cent to 72.8 per cent!
X. Severina
B. Kuwas
73' Kuwas' game also comes to an end, with Xander Severina joining the midfield in place of the starter.
G. Troupée
R. van Eijma
73' Van Eijma is latest off for Curacao, and Giovanni Troupee will enter the pitch to see out the game.
72' WIDE!!! Di Maria scoops the ball in from the right, where Dybala's glancing header bounces a fraction wide of the front post!
71' SAVED!!! What a goal this would've been! With his back to goal, Messi swivels to thread the ball through the eye of a needle, but one-on-one with the goalkeeper, Gonzalez can't finish off the move as Room saves once more!
69' Messi attempts to weave his way between three defenders but is stopped dead in his tracks by the body-check of Van Eijma, winning the Albiceleste a free-kick.
P. Dybala
Lautaro Martínez
67' Lautaro Martinez has cut a frustrated figure up front, continually denied by Room in the Curacaoan goal, and Paulo Dybala replaces him, hoping for better luck in that department.
Á. Di María
G. Lo Celso
67' Lo Celso's been extremely effective for Argentina in midfield so far, but comes off now for Angel Di Maria to see out the game for Scaloni's side.
66' Leandro Bacuna's cross finds the head of Van Eijma at the far post, but his effort is easily caught and held by Emi Martinez.
65' The two number sevens come together as Juninho Bacuna attempts to skip past De Paul, but has his heels clipped by the substitute, giving Curacao another free-kick opportunity on the edge of Argentina's box.
63' OVER!!! Curacao win a free-kick right on the edge of Argentina's box, and Leandro Bacuna's effort sails just inches over the top of the bar, in their best goalscoring chance of note!
61' A loose ball breaks kindly for Curacao in midfield, but the Albiceleste defence retreat in numbers and eventually Floranus is forced into a wayward shot from distance.
60' De Paul looks to step inside from the right flank, but he's clipped from behind by Juninho Bacuna and wins an Argentine free-kick.
J. Antonisse
K. Gorré
58' Gorre is also withdrawn, and Jeremy Antonisse comes into midfield for the visitors.
R. Živković
R. Janga
58' Janga comes off in Curacao's first change, and is replaced up front by Emmen forward Richairo Zivkovic.
56' SAVED!!! Lautaro Martinez heads for goal once more and takes on Martina. Stepping in and away from the Curacao captain, the Albiceleste striker aims for the bottom corner, but Room gets down to push his low effort around the post!
54' SAVED!!! Brilliant play down the right flank from Lo Celso allows him to cut inside and play Lautaro Martinez in on goal. He's in acres of space and drives towards the six-yard box, before fizzing a near-post shot which Room parries behind him!
53' Kuwas steps up to take the visitors' free-kick, but drives his 25-yard effort straight into a blue and white wall!
52' Pezzella collides with Janga on the edge of the Argentina box, and both Bacuna brothers stand over the dangerous-looking free-kick for Curacao.
J. Foyth
N. Otamendi
50' Juan Foyth is also introduced by Scaloni, replacing Otamendi at centre-back.
E. Palacios
E. Fernández
50' Midfield goalscorer Fernandez also comes off, with Exequiel Palacios slotting into his central position for the hosts.
R. De Paul
A. Mac Allister
50' The first of Argentina's changes sees Mac Allister replaced in midfield by fellow World Cup winner Rodrigo De Paul.
48' OVER!!! Messi steps up to take the Albiceleste free-kick, but sends a swirling shot over wall, goalkeeper and crossbar!
47' Mac Allister makes his way forward and has the ball on the edge of the box, but he's bowled over by Gaari and wins a free-kick for Argentina.
46' Curacao resume proceedings, and the second half is underway in Santiago del Estero!
38' Up steps Messi from some 22 yards, but his free-kick is certainly off-colour and flies high and wide of the intended target.
After some lively half-time entertainment, we're back for the second 45 minutes here!
Messi became just the third player to reach 100 international goals with his first-half hat-trick, and his world-beating quality has come to the fore so far. He's had five shots, four of which have been on target, with 10 touches in the box, 17 final-third passes creating two big chances and an assist, as well as completing two of two dribbles and winning possession three times. Generational.
A five-star performance from the hosts so far, with Argentina as in-control as it's possible to be inside the first 45 minutes. A slow burn of a start soon gave way to a glut of goals, with Messi and Gonzalez netting inside three minutes of one another. Having scored his 100th international goal, the PSG forward then added numbers 101 and 102 either side of an assist for Fernandez to make it 4-0, with these three goals coming in the space of four furious minutes. 5-0 down at half-time, Curacao will be playing for pride in the second period, with their effort never in question despite Argentina's vastly superior quality in every area of the pitch.
43' Montiel does well down the right before finding Mac Allister, but he goes down far too easily in the box and is denied a penalty!
41' Lautaro Martinez tries to find crossing space from the left, but Martina gets in the way to block the ball behind for an Argentina corner.
39' Curacao win a free-kick which is crossed in from the left and cleared, but Juninho Bacuna fires a volleyed rebound which bounces off the floor and is easily dealt with!
G. Lo Celso
37' Another perfectly-weighted Lo Celso ball finds Messi in the right place, at the right time, and it's all over with the game still less than 40 minutes old.
L. Messi
37' GOOOOAAAALLL!!! A hat-trick for Argentina's talisman!! Messi's game continues to get better, finishing off a rapid-fire move from the corner. The Albiceleste break out quickly and Lo Celso's long ball over the top has the 35-year-old racing after it. He evades the attention of two incoming defenders to engage Room, before slotting the ball into the bottom corner to make it 5-0! He is simply something else when he's on this form!
36' Floranus' cross from the left tests Emi Martinez, who comes out to punch but can't get a clean connection on the ball, which goes behind for a Curacao corner.
L. Messi
35' Messi also did well there not to try and get his hat-trick, once again turning provider for Fernandez to fire the ball home.
E. Fernández
35' GOOOOAAALL!!! It just keeps getting better!! The Albiceleste flood forward in numbers and the ball comes to Messi, who is soon crowded in the box. He lays the ball off to Fernandez behind him, whose first-time shot catches Room off-guard and flies into the corner!!! 4-0 to the hosts, and victory is 'routine' from here on in.
N. González
33' Gonzalez's work there was just superb, and did well to choose the passing option despite having shooting space himself.
L. Messi
33' GOOOOAAAALLL!!!! It's Room 101 for Curacao, and goal 101 for Messi!! Good link play between Gonzalez and Fernandez allows the former to drive into the box, where he tees up Messi to step inside and side-foot home! 3-0 to Argentina, and one of the simplest international goals the little magician will ever score!
32' Juninho Bacuna makes another positive run in behind as his brother Leandro attempts the pass, but the ball's too close to Emi Martinez and the Albiceleste goalkeeper comes up with the ball.
30' Lo Celso attempts to place the ball in the bottom corner, but his side-footed shot from the edge of the box bounces just wide of the far post!
29' SAVED!! Acuna's ball in from the left finds Messi, who dances around the box evading challenges aplenty. He can't quite find shooting space though, and lays the ball off for Lautaro Martinez to fire a rather tame shot into Room's gloves!
27' Lo Celso wins Argentina their fifth corner of the match, but Messi's near-post cross is headed clear by Gaari.
25' WIDE!!! A cross is only partially cleared by Otamendi and Acuna, allowing Juninho Bacuna to arrive and slice a half-volley with the outside of his foot, which skews just wide of Emi Martinez's left-hand post!
N. González
23' GOOOAAALL!!! The Albiceleste double their advantage! From the third of a succession of corners, Pezzella's strong back-post header is cleared off the line by Martina. Room goes up to punch the ball clear, but he's beaten in the air by Gonzalez, who nods into the unguarded net and makes it 2-0 to Argentina! Two strikes in three minutes, and it's business as usual for Scaloni's side.
22' OFF THE POST!!! Further exuberant Argentine play results in several flicks inside the Curacao box, and the ball drops to Gonzalez who lashes a half-volley goalwards, with the ball tipped onto the post and behind by a stretching Room!
G. Lo Celso
20' Argentina's play threatened to look disjointed following the breakdown of that earlier move, but Lo Celso's crisp pass to Messi allowed the Albiceleste captain to do what he does best.
L. Messi
20' GOOOOOOOAAAAALLL!!!! Centurion! Messi has his 100th international goal, and it's a rifled right-footed finish into the bottom corner! Good work from himself and Lautaro Martinez comes to nothing, but Curacao can't clear properly and Lo Celso finds Messi once again in the box. He steps away from his marker before drilling a low shot beyond Room, and his finish sees the ball nestles in the back of the net for the 100th time in a blue-and-white shirt!
19' Argentina's increased attacking threat has come following a switch in formation, with Messi drifting onto the right and Gonzalez coming to the left to flank Lautaro Martinez at the front of a 4-3-3.
17' Some risky but nonchalant play at the back sees Room chip the ball over Gonzalez's head to Martina, before receiving a headed pass back from his captain which allows him to hold onto the ball!
15' Martinez is found running into space, and quickly draws defenders towards him. He tees up Gonzalez to his left, who first-time shot is snatched at and the ball rattles into the side netting!
14' WIDE!!! Lautaro Martinez brings down a high ball with a good piece of skill, and lashes a vicious volley on the turn which skews low and just wide of the left post!
13' SAVED!!! Room to the rescue as he denies Messi his century!! The Albiceleste break down the right and Montiel squares to Messi on the edge of the box. He half-volleys for goal, but Room gets a big right hand on the ball to tip it around the outside of the far post!
11' SAVED!!! Messi glides towards the box and plays a one-two with Gonzalez before pulling the trigger. His first-time shot off the striker's back-heel takes a deflection off Martina, and Room stretches to parry the ball behind for a corner!
9' Kuwas looks to spin away from Acuna but is clipped late by the Argentina left-back, and has stayed down despite the referee calling play-on!
7' Some smart play down the left from the visitors almost allows Leandro Bacuna room in the box, but Otamendi steps across to cut the ball out for Argentina.
5' Gonzalez looks to charge down Room as the Curacao goalkeeper kicks long, forcing him to shank the ball straight over the near touchline.
3' CHANCE!!! How's that one not gone in? A miss of the season contender from Lautaro Martinez as Argentina surge forward. Anita loses out in midfield and Messi charges at the defence, before squaring to his frontman. The Inter striker has a tap-in at the back post, but gets the ball caught under his foot and Room gathers it before the offside flag spares Martinez's blushes!
2' A long pass from the back has Juninho Bacuna searing after it, but Emi Martinez races a mile out of his goal to clear for the Albiceleste.
1' Gonzalez kicks off for Argentina, and we're underway in Santiago del Estero!
The teams head out onto the pitch amidst a packed crowd, and kick-off isn't far away now!
Curacao line up in an identical 4-3-1-2 formation to their illustrious opponents, with Leandro Bacuna donning both the number 10 shirt and role for this game. His younger brother Juninho starts in attack alongside Rangelo Janga, while Vurnon Anita, who won three Netherlands caps before switching his international allegiance in 2021, is at the base of the visitors’ midfield.
Lionel Scaloni has named a strong Argentina side for this match, with five of the XI having also started the World Cup Final against France. They’re spearheaded as ever by Messi, who starts in the hole behind a new-look front two of Lautaro Martinez and Nicolas Gonzalez.
CURACAO SUBS: Tyrick Bodak, Trevor Doornbusch, Godfried Roemeratoe, Richairo Zivkovic, Shanon Carmelia, Justin Ogenia, Nathangelo Markelo, Xander Severina, Elson Hooi, Giovanni Troupee, Kevin Felida, Jeremy Antonisse.
CURACAO (4-3-1-2): Eloy Room; Jurien Gaari, Cuco Martina, Roshon van Eijma, Sherel Floranus; Brandley Kuwas, Vurnon Anita, Kenji Gorre; Leandro Bacuna; Rangelo Janga, Juninho Bacuna.
ARGENTINA SUBS: Franco Armani, Geronimo Rulli, Juan Foyth, Nicolas Tagliafico, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo de Paul, Julian Alvarez, Angel di Maria, Cristian Romero, Exequiel Palacios, Angel Correa, Guido Rodriguez, Paulo Dybala, Lisandro Martinez, Giovanni Simeone.
ARGENTINA (4-3-1-2): Emiliano Martinez; Gonzalo Montiel, German Pezzella, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna; Alexis Mac Allister, Enzo Fernandez, Giovani Lo Celso; Lionel Messi; Lautaro Martinez, Nicolas Gonzalez.
Curacao’s recent CONCACAF Nations League A match against Canada ended in a 2-0 defeat thanks to two first-half strikes, and it’ll take one of international football’s greatest upsets for La Pantera Azul to topple the World Cup winners at the Estadio Unico Madre de Ciudades.
Enigmatic national captain Lionel Messi bagged his 99th international goal in the Albiceleste’s 2-0 friendly win over Panama five days ago, and the PSG forward will be confident of bringing up his ton against a side ranked 86th in the world at the moment.
Hello, and welcome to live coverage of this international friendly fixture as world champions Argentina take on Curacao in Santiago del Estero.