In the thrilling world of football, where legends are made and surprises abound, Argentina proved their mettle once again by triumphing over Bolivia with a resounding 3-0 victory, even in the absence of their talismanic star, Lionel Messi. Meanwhile, Brazil etched their mark on the road to World Cup glory with a nail-biting 1-0 win over Peru, secured in the 90th minute courtesy of Marquinhos.
Argentina’s journey to victory in La Paz saw Chelsea’s Enzo Fernandez igniting the scoreboard. The goal fest didn’t stop there, as Nicolas Tagliafico and Nicolas Gonzalez added their names to the scoresheet, sealing a convincing win for the Argentinian side. It’s worth noting that this victory marked Argentina’s second consecutive triumph in World Cup qualifying, proving that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Intriguingly, Lionel Messi, the iconic maestro of modern football, observed the match from the bench, a surprising move that raised eyebrows among fans. Messi, who had dazzled the world with his brilliant performances, especially his decisive goal against Ecuador just days prior, was notably absent from the lineup. Manager Lionel Scaloni provided insight into this decision, citing Messi’s fatigue after his match-winning exploits as the reason for his absence.
“Leo was not ready to play,” Scaloni explained after the game. “He tried to recover, but he did not feel comfortable.” Such is the life of a football superstar, where even the mighty Messi needs moments of respite to recharge his batteries.
Stepping into Messi’s considerable shoes, former Manchester United midfielder Angel di Maria donned the captain’s armband and played a pivotal role in Argentina’s victory. His precise cross set up Enzo Fernandez’s first-half opener, a moment of brilliance that ignited Argentina’s march towards victory.
Bolivia’s hopes were further dampened when forward Roberto Fernandez received his marching orders after a high challenge on Cristian Romero. With a numerical advantage, Argentina capitalized on the situation, and Nicolas Tagliafico headed home Di Maria’s free-kick before halftime.
The second half saw Argentina continue to dominate, with Julian Alvarez’s strike hitting the post as they searched for further glory. The final touch of brilliance came from Nicolas Gonzalez, who sealed the victory with a thunderous left-footed drive late in the game. Argentina’s display of prowess without Messi on the pitch is a testament to the depth of talent within their ranks.
Across the South American qualifying landscape, Brazil also showcased their determination, securing their second win on the trot. However, their path to victory was fraught with challenges, as Peru proved to be formidable opponents in Lima.
For the majority of the match, Brazil and Peru appeared evenly matched, with the game seemingly heading for a draw. But as football often demonstrates, the most dramatic moments occur in the dying embers of a match. Neymar, the Brazilian superstar known for his flair and creativity, delivered an in-swinging corner that found its mark at the near post, courtesy of Marquinhos. It was a heart-stopping moment for fans and a testament to the resilience of the Brazilian side.
In other fixtures, Chile and Colombia battled to a goalless draw in Santiago, demonstrating the fierce competition that characterizes South American football. Meanwhile, a stoppage-time penalty converted by Salomon Rondon secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory for Venezuela against Paraguay, adding another layer of drama to the World Cup qualifying stage.
As the footballing world continues to witness these thrilling encounters on the road to the World Cup, one thing remains certain: surprises, drama, and moments of brilliance are always on the horizon. Stay tuned for more updates as the journey to football’s grandest stage unfolds.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about world cup qualifying
Why was Lionel Messi not in the lineup for Argentina’s match against Bolivia?
Lionel Messi was absent from the lineup for Argentina’s match against Bolivia due to fatigue. After scoring the decisive goal in a previous match against Ecuador, Messi complained of tiredness, prompting the team’s manager, Lionel Scaloni, to rest him for this particular game.
Who stepped up in Lionel Messi’s absence?
Former Manchester United midfielder Angel di Maria took on the captain’s role and played a pivotal role in Argentina’s victory. He provided the precise cross that led to Enzo Fernandez’s opening goal in the first half, showcasing his leadership and playmaking abilities.
How did Brazil secure their victory over Peru?
Brazil secured their victory over Peru with a late 90th-minute goal from Marquinhos. The match had been closely contested, with both teams looking poised for a draw until Neymar delivered an in-swinging corner that Marquinhos expertly headed home at the near post.
Were there any other notable results in South American World Cup qualifying?
Yes, there were notable results in South American World Cup qualifying. Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay suffered their first defeat under his management, losing 2-1 to Ecuador, despite taking an early lead. Meanwhile, Chile and Colombia played out a goalless draw in Santiago, and Venezuela secured a 1-0 victory against Paraguay with a stoppage-time penalty from Salomon Rondon.
What does Argentina’s victory without Messi and Brazil’s late win mean for their World Cup qualifying campaigns?
Argentina’s convincing victory without Messi underscores the depth of talent within their squad, showcasing their ability to perform even when their star player is rested. Brazil’s late win highlights their resilience and determination, positioning them as strong contenders in the World Cup qualifying stage. Both teams have started their campaigns with two consecutive wins, setting a positive tone for their journey to the World Cup.
More about world cup qualifying
- BBC Sport – World Cup qualifying: Argentina beat Bolivia without Messi
- BBC Sport – Brazil win late on against Peru
- BBC Sport – Marcelo Bielsa suffers first defeat in charge of Uruguay
- BBC Sport – Neymar’s late goal secures victory for Brazil over Peru
- BBC Sport – Chile and Colombia play out goalless draw
- BBC Sport – Venezuela secures 1-0 victory with late penalty against Paraguay