Messi magic as Argentina down Colombia


San Juan (Argentina) (AFP)

Lionel Messi scored a majestic free-kick and set up two more goals as Argentina got their faltering 2018 World Cup qualification campaign back on track with a 3-0 win over Colombia here Tuesday.

Barcelona maestro Messi curled in a superb free-kick from 30 yards in the 10th minute before providing the cross for Lucas Pratto's 23rd minute header.

The tireless Messi then popped up in the 84th minute to cross for Angel Di Maria's late goal as Argentina secured all three points.

The two-time world champions had taken just two points from their previous four games to leave themselves languishing just outside the qualification berths in South America's marathon qualifying tournament.

But Tuesday's victory puts Argentina back into the qualification positions.