The South American World Cup Qualifiers are becoming more thrilling and tight as two teams can still qualify. It will be a photo finish in these qualifiers. Only Brazil and Argentina have booked their place for the Qatar World Cup. Two more teams can qualify, and the fifth team will have to be in the playoffs.
It’s again an international break, and CONMEBOL qualifiers have resumed. Chile played their crucial match against Argentina, and they lost it 1-2. Now, Chile’s dream of qualifying is significantly less.
Goals from Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez gave Argentina the 2-1 win in Chile on Thursday in their World Cup qualifier as the visitors collected the three points without Lionel Messi.
Argentina opted to rest Messi after his COVID-19 infection, but his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Di Maria stepped up to give the visitors the lead with a trademark curling shot from outside the box after 10 minutes.
Chile’s English-born striker Ben Brereton equalised just over 10 minutes later when he sent a fine looping header over goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. Argentina then took advantage of an injury to Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to seal the win 11 minutes before half-time.
“We knew it was going to be difficult at high altitude and after a long flight,” said Di Maria. “The important thing is that we come away with a win.
“Everything is always much easier when Leo is here. The important thing is that we keep working like we’ve been doing and bringing joy to Argentines.”
This win also marks Argentina’s 28th game without defeat.
Ecuador grabbed a crucial point against Brazil after a 1-1 draw. Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan had the red card out three times in the first 26 minutes, but the Liverpool goalkeeper’s, awarded for a high foot, was downgraded to a yellow card after consultation with the Video Assistant referee.
Alisson’s second red card was initially handed out in stoppage time but again overturned by VAR. Speaking after the match, he told reporters: “This has never happened to me before. It’s the first time.
“I am happy for VAR, it is worth highlighting the use of VAR in football. If there was no VAR, today we would be unfairly penalised for several situations on the pitch. I touched the ball, that’s evident to everyone. Both balls were inside my action. In both situations I was aiming for the ball.”
Meanwhile, Uruguay moved into the fourth with 19 points after beating Paraguay 1-0 in Asuncion. Luis Suarez got the winner five minutes into the second half to give new coach Diego Alonso a winning start. The result keeps Uruguay’s qualification hopes alive and dealt a heavy blow to Paraguay, who sit second bottom of the table with 13 points.