Messi's 2-goal masterclass in New Jersey overshadowed by constant pitch invaders

On Tuesday night at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, Lionel Messi was limited to 34 minutes off the bench but again demonstrated why his form has Argentina firmly placed among the favorites in Qatar.

Messi scored twice — giving him nine goals in his last three international appearances — to continue his incredible start to 2022-23 (he has six goals and eight assists in 11 games for PSG).

The first was a 22-yard rip that skipped into the corner beyond a despairing Andre Blake in the 86th minute. 

In the 89th, Messi went low again — this time on a free kick central to goal and 20 yards out.

Messi delivered for his adoring fans at Red Bull Arena, but three different pitch invaders took things too far.

First, in the 64th, a guy got brought down shortly before reaching Messi. He then battled against five different security guards — briefly looking like he was actually going to turn the tide — before getting dragged away.  

The second guy, arriving after Messi's first goal, actually handed Argentina's captain a pen, told him to sign his back, squatted down and then got obliterated by three security guards who almost took Messi out too.

Update: Here's the second guy with an "L" on his back.

In the 92nd minute, one final guy got his shit rocked. 

They now get to enjoy a couple nights in a cell in Harrison and a lifetime ban from Red Bull Arena.

Messi is at 90 goals in 164 matches for La Albiceleste, and the team enters the World Cup on a 35 game unbeaten streak. The international record is currently held by Italy, 37, which was set between 2018 and 2021. Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland stand in the way. 

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