While Ronaldo squandered several good opportunities to find the net during his 90-min stay, Messi needed just two sights of goal to score a sensational brace in a second-half cameo against Jamaica in New Jersey.
Tuesday saw the two best footballers of the modern era take the field almost 3500 miles away from each other. The nature of the games they played was entirely different as was their performance and impact. On one side of the globe was a struggling Cristiano Ronaldo, at his wasteful best in Portugal’s 0-1 UEFA Nations League defeat to Spain in Braga, on the other side was a reenergised Lionel Messi at his mesmerising best in Argentina’s 3-0 victory against Jamaica in a friendly in New Jersey.
While Ronaldo squandered several good opportunities to find the net during his 90-min stay, Messi needed just two sights of goal to score a sensational brace in a second-half cameo. The superstar footballer marked his 100th international victory with two goals as Argentina edged closer to Italy’s world record unbeaten streak. Messi scored his 89th and 90th goals in his 164th appearance for the Albicelestes after coming on as a second-half substitute for Lautaro Martinez at the Red Bull Arena.
He bagged his first of the night in the 86th minute with a typical darting run towards the opponent’s box before perfectly placing a shot into the bottom corner past Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake.
His second came from an improvised free-kick. The 35-year-old magician, just before the 90-min mark, expertly curled a low shot underneath the Jamaican wall into the bottom corner to double his tally.
Messi’s brace and an early goal from Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez, who tucked away a low finish from close range on 13 minutes, capped an impressive win for the South American giants, who have now gone 35 games unbeaten in a streak stretching back to 2019 – just two shy of Italy’s world record unbeaten run of 37 set between 2018 and 2012.