The Argentina national team hosted Paraguay at River Plate Stadium on Thursday night in the third contest of the Conmebol qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in North America. Lionel Messi hit the post on two occassions, once from the corner kick spot.
Nicolas Otamedi surprised the crowd in the third minute of the game with an early goal. The Benfica defender joined the attack and sent an impressive right-footed volley into Carlos Coronel‘s net off a Rodrigo de Paul corner kick.
Paraguay could not move past the midfield despite the dynamic Miguel Almiron. Argentina did not need Messi throughout the first half as De Paul, Nico Gonzalez, Julian Alvarez and Lautaro Martinez were excellent for head coach Lionel Scaloni.
Messi entered the field to replace Alvarez less than 10 minutes into the second half. His corner kick attempt 20 minutes late shook the woodwork.
Lionel Messi again hits the post on free kick
The Inter Miami star once again hit the bar off a free kick minutes before the end of the match.
It’s likely Messi will be available for Argentina in Tuesday’s road match against Peru.
The 1-0 result was misleading because Argentina could have easily won it by a greater margin and Paraguay did nothing to score a goal in Buenos Aires.