Messi hat-trick powers Argentina to finals

Lionel Messi scored a brilliant hat-trick as Argentina sealed their place at the 2018 World Cup with a 3-1 victory over Ecuador here Tuesday.

Barcelona superstar Messi single-handedly rescued Argentina’s World Cup hopes as the South American giants came from behind to win in Quito.

Romario Ibarra gave Ecuador the lead after 38 seconds but Messi struck twice inside the opening 20 minutes to give Argentina the lead before adding a third in the second half.