2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Report: Argentina v Venezuela 26 March 2022

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Lionel Messi starred on his return to action for Argentina, who defeated Venezuela 3-0 in their penultimate FIFA World Cup qualifier.

2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Result: Argentina 3-0 Venezuela

Date: 26 March 2022

Venue: La Bombonera

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni made a host of changes from their last World Cup qualifier, with Messi returning to joining Nicolas Gonzalez and Joaquin Correa in the attack.

The South American champions dominated in the early exchanges of the first half, but they struggled to carve out any clear-cut chances in the opening 20 minutes.

The hosts would get their reward after 35 minutes when Rodrigo de Paul sent a fine cross into the six-yard area where Nico Gonzalez was on hand to slot home from close range.

That proved to be the only meaningful opening in the first half, as the visitors struggled to fashion any opening as goalkeeper Franco Armani did not have a single save to make.

That nearly changed 10 minutes into the second half when Casseres looked to pick out Josef Martinez with an inviting cross, although the striker failed to connect.

It took a while but Argentina doubled their lead in the 79th minute as De Paul picked up his second assist by picking out Angel di Maria, who did well to lob Wuilker Farinez.

Messi had the final say on the night as he combined with his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Di Maria before volleying into the far corner to wrap up a good win.

Scaloni's men will finish their World Cup qualifying campaign against Ecuador on Wednesday, while Venezuela host Colombia.

Did you see how Messi and his teammates celebrated their Copa America success last year? 

Messi consoling an emotional Neymar
Messi consoling an emotional Neymar
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