At the Estadio Nacional in Lima on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, Argentina defeated Peru 2-0 in a FIFA World Cup qualifier. As a result of his two goals for the Albiceleste, Lionel Messi became the all-time leading scorer in South American World Cup qualification. Messi was at the core of everything as Argentina dominated the game from beginning to end. He scored the first goal in the 32nd minute with an incredible left-footed effort from beyond the box, and ten minutes later, after Enzo Fernandez had set him up, he doubled his advantage with a close – range finish. Peru had many opportunities to tie the score, but Emiliano Martinez, Argentina’s goalie, held them off. To continue their unbeaten start to the 2026 World Cup qualification campaign, the Albiceleste easily prevailed in the end.
Messi's record-breaking night
With his two goals against Peru, Messi&’s total for South American World Cup qualification now stands at 31, breaking the previous mark of 29 goals held by Uruguay’s Luis Suarez. More goals than any other player in CONMEBOL World Cup qualification history have now been scored by Messi. Messi made his debut against Peru, his first after coming back from a few-week absence due to a muscle issue. He demonstrated that he is still at the peak of his game, and in 2026 he will try to lead Argentina to yet another World Cup victory.
Argentina's perfect start to qualifying
Argentina defeated Peru to win the World Cup qualifying campaign for the fourth time in a row. They are leading the CONMEBOL standings after scoring ten goals and giving up none thus far. The reigning World Cup champions, Argentina, are among the favorites to take home the trophy in 2026. They truly have a chance to win the title a fourth time with Messi on their roster. Argentina’s World Cup qualification campaign will resume in November with matches against Chile and Venezuela. November will see Peru play both Bolivia and Venezuela. Peru will be aiming to qualify in the top four of the CONMEBOL qualification standings to clinch a straight slot in Qatar, Argentina is almost guaranteed a seat at the 2026 World Cup.
Argentina maintained their unbeaten start to the 2026 World Cup qualification campaign with a convincing 2-0 victory against Peru. As a result of his two goals for the Albiceleste, Lionel Messi became the all-time leading scorer in South American World Cup qualification. Coming into the 2026 World Cup, Argentina appears to be a formidable squad to be reckoned with. They truly have a chance to win the title a fourth time with Messi on their roster.