LA PAZ, Bolivia— Argentina anticipated a battle within the altitude of La Paz. The World Cup champion’s climb appeared even steeper with Lionel Messi out of the lineup.
Argentina nonetheless beat Bolivia 3-0 on Tuesday in its second match of the qualifying marketing campaign for the 2026 World Cup.
It’s now two for 2 in qualifiers for coach Lionel Scaloni’s crew, which was led by veteran Ángel Di María and a powerful midfield.
Brazil joined Argentina on six factors atop the South American standings after a last-minute 1-0 win at Peru.
Uruguay had an opportunity to hitch the leaders however misplaced 2-1 at Ecuador.
The Ecuadorians now have moved again to zero; they began the match at -3 after having three factors deducted by FIFA for the falsification of beginning data of defender Byron Castillo, who’s of Colombian origin.
The subsequent World Cup in the US, Mexico and Canada is increasing to a 48-team format, which means direct entry to the highest six groups in South America. The seventh-place crew will contest an intercontinental playoff for a berth.
Colombia is in third place on 4 factors after a 0-0 draw with Chile on Tuesday. Uruguay and Venezuela every have three factors, adopted by Paraguay, Peru and Chile with one level every.
The subsequent video games in South American World Cup qualifying might be performed in October.
BOLIVIA 0, ARGENTINA 3
Argentina outlined the match within the first half with two objectives, saved its tempo within the second half and added a 3rd close to the ultimate whistle. A pink card for Bolivia’s Roberto Fernández within the thirty ninth minute additionally made it much less troublesome for the Argentinians.
Enzo Fernández opened the scoring within the thirty first from shut vary after a low cross by Di María from the appropriate. The veteran striker additionally took half within the second objective — lifting the ball into the penalty field from a free kick within the forty second for Nicolas Tagliafico to attain along with his shoulder.
Nico González added Argentina’s third within the 83rd with a crossed shot from the sting of the field that handed to the appropriate of goalkeeper Billy Viscarra.
Messi applauded the objectives from the bench in a stadium the place 14 years in the past he noticed Argentina get hammered by the hosts by 6-1.
“The altitude is psychological,” Di María advised journalists after his crew’s victory.
Messi, the 36-year-old Inter Miami star, was neither within the beginning lineup for the World Cup champions nor on the bench. Final week, he scored from a free kick to present Argentina a 1-0 dwelling win towards Ecuador in its first aggressive worldwide since profitable the World Cup final December.
“He was less than enjoying … he didn’t really feel snug,” Scaloni stated. “We didn’t take dangers.”
Messi’s absence disillusioned many Bolivians, together with lots of of native followers who turned out to welcome him to the nation Sunday night.
PERU 0, BRAZIL 1
Brazil arrived in Peru amid excessive reward following a 5-1 battering of Bolivia on Friday. However little or no of that enthusiasm remained after the ultimate whistle was blown in Lima, regardless of the crew’s victory.
The Selecao had two objectives disallowed within the first half by VAR __ together with a Richarlison header that referees took 7 minutes to determine. It began the second half filled with assault however Peru defended stoutly and confirmed that the brand new Brazil system beneath interim coach Fernando Diniz is much from a completed product.
Brazil had loads of passing errors, together with a number of by Neymar, and angered Diniz all through the second half. Reduction solely got here after a nook kick taken by Neymar discovered Marquinhos’ head within the ninetieth minute.
“This would be the face of the nationwide crew. We might be very aggressive,” Marquinhos advised journalists after the match. “Nobody thought we may rating from a useless ball at that time, however that’s a part of our recreation, too.”
Substitute striker Gabriel Jesus stated criticism of Brazil at this stage is unfair contemplating beating Peru in Lima is an effective outcome for any crew.
“We’re nonetheless evolving as a crew, and these factors might be essential down the street,” he stated.
ECUADOR 2, URUGUAY 1
A objective in every half from defender Felix Torres erased Ecuador’s factors deficit within the competitors standings.
Uruguay opened the scoring within the thirty eighth minute with Agustín Canobbio from shut vary in one of many few moments that Ecuador didn’t dominate the primary half.
Torres equalized with a header in first-half stoppage time.
Ecuador and its bodily recreation continued to thrive towards a younger Uruguayan crew within the second half. A fast play by 16-year-old Kendry Páez on the left flank resulted in a low cross and Torres scoring once more within the 61st.
The second objective gave aid to a crowded Casa Blanca Stadium in Quito. Eleven minutes earlier, striker Enner Valencia missed a penalty kick.
“What issues is that we didn’t get determined,” Valencia stated. “That is our first victory and we are going to hold making ourselves stronger right here.”
Additionally Tuesday, Venezuela beat Paraguay 1-0 with a objective from the spot by Salomón Rondón moments earlier than the ultimate whistle. It was the 33-year-old striker’s fortieth objective for his nationwide crew.
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