Argentina continued their impressive run in the World Cup Qualifiers as they registered a thumping 3-1 win over hosts Venezuela. However, it was an incident from the match that made headlines rather than Argentina’s win. The visitor’s captain Lionel Messi, survived a horror career-threatening tackle from an opposition player in the first half of the game. People criticized the player for such an act on the field and termed it as ‘sickening’ and ‘disgusting’.
It was during the 29th minute of the match when the incident took place. Messi charged towards Venezuela’s goal post but was confronted by Venezuela’s Adrian Martinez. The Argentine forward collected a pass and attempted to skip past Martinez, who lunged for the ball but was undone by Messi’s pace and caught his standing leg. It was very fortunate for Messi that he avoided full impact by angling his body. Even though Messi somehow managed to walk away from the ‘leg-breaker’ tackle, Martinez could not avoid a red card. After a VAR check, Martinez was deservedly given a red card.
Watch the video of the incident here:
Referee Leodan Frankin Gonzalez Cabrera immediately pulled out a red card, following a VAR review. The replay showed the deadliness of the tackle as Messi’s leg appeared to buckle under the force of the challenge. Fans expressed their anger on social media as one fan wrote, "Adrian Martinez should be behind bars. It is a criminal offense. Look at the tackle. He almost broke Messi's leg."
Argentina defeated Venezuela 3-1
Talking about the game, it was a dominant performance from the visitors as they dominated the game throughout. Lautaro Martinez put Argentina in front minutes before the break. Joaquin Correa and Angel Correa capitalized on the opening and scored a goal each in the second half. For Venezuela, as they were reduced to ten men post Martinez suspension, Yeferson Soteldo pulled one back, converting a 94th minute penalty.
Argentina will now face Brazil in their next encounter and will hope to replicate their performance from the Copa America final. Meanwhile, Neymar and Messi will face each other after sharing the jersey for French giants Paris Saint-Germain.