Argentina was never in any danger during its 3-0 friendly victory against Jamaica on Tuesday, played at a neutral site at Red Bull Arena in the United States.
Álvarez opened the scoring in the 13th minute thanks to excellent work from Lautaro Martínez, who was able to work his way into the area, beating multiple defenders to reach the touchline and drag one back around the edge of the box for a simple I touched.
Argentina continued to create half chances for the rest of the first half, and it was more of the same starting in the second 45, with Martinez closing in after a one-touch pass from Alexis Mac Allister gave him some space inside the box. , but pushed his shot off the far post.
Lionel Messi came on as a substitution in the 56th minute, and just 10 minutes later he had his first chance after a brace from the edge of the area that allowed him to burst through the left of the area, but his shot from an acute angle was easily foiled in the nearby pole.
But the fans in attendance would get what they were looking for in the 87th minute, when Messi picked up a deflected pass just outside the penalty area and fired his left foot hard and under the body into the bottom right corner.
Just two minutes later, Argentina were awarded a free kick in the same spot, and Messi converted again, this time around the wall into the bottom left corner.
What does it mean? Argentina now two games from history
With this result, Argentina are now undefeated in their last 35 games since their 2019 Copa América semi-final loss against Brazil.
Italy holds the record of 37 games without losing, which they set last year. Argentina’s next two matches will be at the World Cup against Saudi Arabia and Mexico, and if they make it out unscathed, they will play Poland for the new record.
Messi the super substitute
Despite playing just 35 minutes, Messi led all players with five shots, four shots on target and three successful dribbles. Only Álvarez (three) created more chances than Messi’s two, scoring twice in his second successive international match after netting a brace against Honduras last weekend.
Reid fights with the Argentine physicist
Bobby Reid had a tough start down the left side, credited with just two wins out of 11 attempts, the lowest percentage in the field. He also had a 77 percent passing accuracy, which was one of the lowest marks on either side, without attempting shots or creating chances.
Argentina will carry its undefeated streak to the World Cup, where it will first play against Saudi Arabia. Jamaica has no games scheduled until March’s CONCACAF Nations League.