World Cup Qualifiers: Messi and Suarez equal Ronaldo's record
Lionel Messi scored for Argentina to hand his side a 1-0 victory against Ecuador in the World Cup Qualifiers. The 33-year-old scored from the penalty spot which was the difference in this encounter. Meanwhile, Messi's former Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez was also on the scoresheet in Uruguay's 2-1 last-minute win over Chile. Notably, they went on to equal former Brazil legend Ronaldo's record.
Messi nets 71st goal for Argentina, Suarez surpasses these stars
Messi registered his 71st goal for Argentina (including friendlies) in 139 appearances. He equaled the tally of former German star Miroslav Klose. Meanwhile, it was also his 37th goal in competitive matches. Suarez has now scored 60 goals for Uruguay. He went past the likes of Bosnia's Edin Dzeko and Spain's David Villa (59 each).
Messi and Suarez equal Ronaldo's record
Messi and Suarez have equaled Ronaldo's record for most goals scored for a South American national team in competitive matches. All three have now struck 39 times in such matches.
Key details about matchday one
10 teams are battling it out in the South American World Cup Qualifiers. Besides Uruguay and Argentina's wins over Chile and Ecuador respectively, Paraguay and Peru played out a 2-2 draw. Angel Romero and Andre Carrillo scored a brace each for their respective teams. The rest of the opening games will see Brazil face Bolivia and Colombia taking on Venezuela.
Qatar World Cup: South America will have four direct berths
South America will have four direct berths in the next World Cup to be held in Qatar. Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia start as favorites for those spots. Meanwhile, the fifth-best team can earn qualification through an intercontinental playoff, with Peru and Chile being the strong contenders. The qualifying phase ends in March 2022.