Kevin Rodriguez comes off the bench as Lionel Messi magic hands Ecuador 1-0 defeat

Union St Gilloise striker Kevin Rodriguez had to settle for just 23 minutes off the bench in Ecuador’s opening game of World Cup Qualification. The striker replaced Al-Sadd striker Gonzalo Plata just after the hour mark as Felix Sanchez’s side looked to break the deadlock. The new signing in Brussels only managed one shot on goal but was unable to convert as Argentina’s defence held out.

With just under 15 minutes to go, more magic from Lionel Messi proved to be the difference. The MLS star found the net with another trademark free-kick which hands Ecuador an opening day defeat. The side are looking to qualify for back to back World Cups, having qualified for the previous tournament in Qatar 2022. They were draw in a group with the hosts, African champions Senegal and the Netherlands. Unfortunately, the four points they managed to pick up were not enough to qualify as they finished third in the group.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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