Lionel Messi did his bit to help Argentina win against Bolivia away from home for the first time in 16 years, but after the match, he had to be pulled away from his opposite number.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier in La Paz on Tuesday 13 October was played in good spirits, but Marcelo Martins Moreno and Messi got into it after the final whistle with the Bolivian earning a booking.
Joaquin Correa scored the winner 11 minutes from time as Argentina laboured to a 2-1 victory over Bolivia before Messi and Moreno’s afters.
Watch: Messi clashes with Moreno
It is unclear exactly what sparked Messi’s anger and while some have attempted to lipread the heated exchanges, a fair chunk of it is unprintable.
There is some suggestion that Messi was angered by Bolivia staff member Lucas Nava whom he directed his anger at after Moreno was pulled away.
It was Argentina’s second narrow victory in a row following a 1-0 win over Ecuador last Thursday.
Bolivia should have been ahead on six minutes when goalkeeper Franco Armani was caught off his line, but Moreno sent his header from an angle onto the roof of the net.
Moreno would give the hosts a deserved lead on 24 minutes as he rose between Argentina’s centre-backs and powered home a header from eight yards after Alejandro Chumacero was allowed to run from halfway into the visitors’ box before crossing from the left.
Argentina score vital win
Argentina got a little lucky with their equaliser scored by Lautaro Martinez and assisted by Messi.
Argentina came to life just before the break as an otherwise subdued Messi had his shot deflected just wide, and from the resulting corner, Leandro Paredes crashed a shot off the post.
But in the final minute of the half, Argentina restored parity.
Jose Carrasco tried to clear the ball out of his six-yard box after cutting out Martinez’s cross, but he shanked the ball off the forward’s shin and past goalkeeper Carlos Lampe.
Messi was wasteful with a free-kick from 20 yards just past the hour mark as he fired it straight into the wall.
The Argentina skipper’s pass 15 minutes from the end released Martinez in the box only for Lampe to brilliantly save his fierce right-foot drive.
The reprieve was brief as Messi and Martinez combined to tee up Correa to thrash home the winner.