Argentina are one step closer to next year’s World Cup in Qatar with a minimal victory over Uruguay. In Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, the South American champions won 1-0, finishing second behind Brazil in the South American World Cup qualifying round. The first four qualify directly, while the fifth still plays an international play-off. Brazil, who beat Colombia 1-0 in the World Cup final on Thursday night, qualified first.
Lionel Messi took the lead early in the game for Argentina on the bench. Six minutes after the absence of Angel Di Maria, Messi wearing the captain’s armband, he curled his left leg beautifully behind Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
In the future, the Argentine players had more ball, but Uruguay was really very dangerous with many bright counters. Luis Suarez in particular had some good chances to equalize in the final, but Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved each time.
Argentina continued their excellent run with a win in Montevideo. The team of national coach Lionel Scaloni has not lost in 26 games in about two years. His team is now second in the South American World Cup qualifiers with 28 points after twelve in eighteen games. Uruguay are sixth, with 16 points from one game, with Chile (now fourth) and Colombia (fifth), but with the worst goal difference. Ecuador are third with 20 points from thirteen matches.
Another round takes place in South America on Tuesday. Argentina and Brazil meet in San Juan, Argentina. Chile hosts Ecuador, while Colombia meets Paraguay in its own Barranquilla. Suarez’s Uruguay play a tough outdoor game against Bolivia, and at the height of La Paz, thin air will always be an additional adversary.
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