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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Messi, Suarez share record for goals in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers

Max Bretos and Herculez Gomez evaluate Lionel Messi's impact on Argentina's qualification for the World Cup.

Lionel Messi became the all-time leading scorer in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday night, though he was quickly joined by Luis Suarez.

Argentina's World Cup hopes were already in jeopardy when the night began and they went on concede within 38 seconds, but Messi rallied them back with a pair of goals in the first 20 minutes.

The first strike moved into a tied with his countryman Hernan Crespo and Uruguay's Suarez on 19, and the 20th of his career soon after gave him the record.

Messi completed his hat trick in the second half to move onto 21 goals in 45 World Cup qualifiers in his career, sealing Argentina's place at the 2018 World Cup with a 3-1 win over Ecuador.

But Suarez then struck twice in the second half of Uruguay's 4-2 win over Bolivia to join him on 21 goals.

The game marked the third time that Messi has scored multiple times in a World Cup qualifier. They were also his first goals away from Argentina in the current qualifying campaign.

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