Messi continues Argentina’s World Cup celebration with eighth goal: ‘Enjoyment’
Argentina has won its first match as reigning world champions. Led by captain Lionel Messi, national coach Lionel Scaloni’s team was too strong for Panama 2-0 in a practice match in Buenos Aires.
Messi completed the Argentine celebration just before time by scoring the second goal from a free kick. He thus signed for the 800th goal of his prolific career.
Same lineup as in World Cup final
Argentina started with the same eleven players as in the World Cup final against France. Panama held out for a long time, but still had to bow to the world champion in the closing stages when substitute Thiago Almada opened the scoring in the 75th minute.
Messi entered the field before kickoff at River Plate’s sold-out Monumental stadium (83,000 spectators) with his three sons. He was cheered massively by the crowd.
Messi and Argentina shine in ‘World Cup party match’ against Panama
“I always dreamed of this, to celebrate with my compatriots in Argentina that we won the World Cup,” the captain said. “We had to wait a very long time for this. Let’s enjoy the third star.”
The match was followed by yet another tribute for the Argentine soccer players. They walked a lap of honor around the field, all holding a replica of the World Cup trophy.
Missed penalty kick Giménez
Mexico won over Suriname in the Concacaf Nations League despite a missed penalty kick by Feyenoord striker Santiago Giménez. The team of new national coach Diego Cocca triumphed 2-0 in Paramaribo.
The Suriname soccer team has been led by former Dutch national Aron Winter since September.
Cremonese defender Johan Vásquez and an own goal by FC Groningen defender Damil Dankerlui provided the Mexican goals. With Mexico, PSV midfielder Érick Gutiérrez wore the captain’s armband. Ajax players Edson Álvarez and Jorge Sánchez were missing.