Argentina defeated Ecuador 1-0 in the first match of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers on September 8, 2023, at the Estadio Mâs Monumental in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The only goal of the match was scored by Lionel Messi in the 35th minute. Messi received a pass from Lautaro Martínez and dribbled past several Ecuadorian defenders before scoring the goal.

Argentina dominated possession for most of the match, but Ecuador created some chances of their own. The Ecuadorian goalkeeper, Alexander Dominguez, made several saves to keep Argentina at bay.

The win gives Argentina a good start to their qualifying campaign. They will next face Chile on September 13, 2023, in Santiago, Chile.

Here are some of the highlights of the match:

Lionel Messi scored the only goal of the match.
Argentina dominated possession for most of the match.
Ecuador created some chances of their own, but Alexander Dominguez made several saves.
The win gives Argentina a good start to their qualifying campaign.
The match was the first time that Argentina and Ecuador had met in a World Cup qualifier since 2017. Argentina has won all three of their previous matches against Ecuador in World Cup qualifiers.

The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The qualifiers will begin in September 2023 and end in March 2025. The top four teams from each of the 10 CONMEBOL qualifying groups will qualify for the World Cup.

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