Messi scores hat trick; Argentina advances in World Cup.

With a hat trick, Lionel Messi cements his reputation as an international soccer player and secures Argentina's ticket to the 2018 World Cup.

Vip Sitaraman

Argentina's prospects of reaching the 2018 World Cup looked slim when they were scored on within the first minute of the qualifying match against Ecuador. However, in the following hour, Lionel Messi carried his team to victory with a hat trick.

A national hero, Messi once again came to the rescue of his country and his team, as the match ended with a score of 3 - 1, Argentina. Once again proving his contention for the greatest soccer player in the world, Messi scored his team the win and a ticket to Russia.

It was Argentina's first victory in Quito for 16 years, and came after Argentina fell a goal behind in just the second minute.