Messi erupts late and buries Uruguay

[VIDEO PICK: Golazos] Lionel Messi scores twice, and generates a beautiful third, in a 15-minute tour de force during the second half of Argentina's 3-0 win over Uruguay in World Cup qualifying.

The two Conmebol powers were scoreless in the 65th minute in Argentina on Friday, a quarter of an hour later the game was all but over.

Argentina sits atop South America’s 16-game qualifying at the halfway point, with 17 points, one point ahead of Colombia and Ecuador. Uruguay is fourth, above Chile on goal difference. Four of the nine countries qualify directly, while a fifth enters a playoff with an Asian country. Brazil qualifies automatically, as the host nation. Paraguay is last with 4 points, after qualifying for the last four World Cups, and making the quarterfinals in South Africa.

Here are the three goals, amid odd audio. Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria, display superb chemistry. The second, off Messi’s delicate chip to Di Maria, who first times it across net for Aguero, is tasty. The last goal is a free kick under the wall by “La Pulga,” sealing the win for the flea, and his country.

Just another day at the office for the world's best.

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