Argentina united Brazil in qualifying for 2022 WC in Qatar in spite of the arch-rivals playing out a severe 0-0 draw in San Juan on Tuesday.
Trounces for Uruguay (3-0 to Bolivia) and Chile (2-0 to Ecuador) certified Argentina, unbowed in 27 matches, booked their ticket, leaving just two more automatic spots available in South American qualifying with four matches remaining.
It capitalizes a fine year for Argentina and Messi, who earned their 15th Copa America with a 1-0 final triumph over Brazil at Rio de Janeiro’s awe-inspiring Maracana stadium.
Moreover, it is consecutively 13th time that Argentina have certified for the World Cup having failed to qualify only once, for the finals of 1970 in Mexico.
Argentina commemorated six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi to their starting eleven while Brazil star forward Neymar missed out.