Lionel Messi Nets First-Half Brace in Argentina vs. Peru

Lionel Messi is unstoppable.

The Argentine icon marked his return to Lionel Scaloni’s starting XI on Tuesday in the 2026 World Cup qualifier against Peru, having been a substitute against Paraguay last Thursday.

How did Messi make his presence felt again? With a first-half brace, scoring two goals in just 10 minutes.

The first goal materialized in the 32nd minute during a transition opportunity. Left winger Nico Gonzalez provided a cutback pass from the left flank, and Messi connected with it instantly, beating goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in a mesmerizing fashion.

He secured his second goal a mere 10 minutes later. Left back Nicolas Tagliafico disrupted Peru’s 4-4-2 mid-block with a sharp through ball to Enzo Fernandez. Fernandez’s cutback pass ricocheted off striker Julian Alvarez and reached Messi, who once again clinically buried it on the first touch.


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