Argentina and Brazil secure second wins in World Cup qualifiers, Messi rested in Argentina's victory
Posted : 13 September 2023
In World Cup qualifying action, Argentina secured their second win in a row, defeating Bolivia 3-0 despite resting Lionel Messi. Chelsea's Enzo Fernandez opened the scoring, followed by goals from Nicolas Tagliafico and Nicolas Gonzalez.
Brazil also clinched their second victory, narrowly beating Peru 1-0 with a 90th-minute goal from Marquinhos.
Uruguay, under the leadership of Marcelo Bielsa, suffered their first defeat, losing 2-1 to Ecuador after initially taking the lead through Agustin Canobbio. Felix Torres scored twice for Ecuador, who also missed a penalty through Enner Valencia.
Lionel Messi, who watched Argentina's win from the bench, was not listed among the substitutes due to fatigue after scoring the winning goal in the previous match against Ecuador.
Angel di Maria, the former Manchester United midfielder, captained the team in Messi's absence and provided the assist for Enzo Fernandez's first-half goal. Bolivia's Roberto Fernandez was sent off, reducing them to 10 men, and Nicolas Tagliafico scored from Di Maria's free-kick before halftime. Julian Alvarez hit the post in the second half, but Nicolas Gonzalez sealed the victory with a late left-footed drive.
Brazil, the only other team with a perfect start in South American qualifying, struggled against a resilient Peru side in Lima. The match appeared to be heading for a draw until Marquinhos scored from Neymar's corner in the dying moments.
In other matches, Chile and Colombia played to a goalless draw in Santiago, while Venezuela secured a 1-0 victory over Paraguay thanks to a stoppage-time penalty from Salomon Rondon.