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Argentina held 1-1 in qualifying; Bolivia official arrested

SAO PAULO (AP) – Lionel Messi had a purpose disallowed and one other denied as Argentina was held to a 1-1 draw by Paraguay in South American World Cup qualifying.

The draw at La Bombonera stadium places Argentina on the highest of the standings with seven factors from three matches, however Brazil – on six – might transfer forward with a house win over Ninth-place Venezuela on Friday.

Paraguay is in 4th place with 5 factors.

Earlier Thursday, Tenth-place Bolivia conceded a late penalty to lose 3-2 at dwelling to Ecuador. The Ecuadorians are actually in third place with six factors in three video games.

Argentina’s fourth match in qualifying can be in opposition to Peru on Tuesday, when Paraguay hosts Bolivia and Ecuador is at dwelling to Colombia.

The prime 4 groups will mechanically qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The fifth-place staff will go into an inter-continental playoff.


Paraguay as soon as extra gave Argentina bother, opening the scoring in the twenty first minute through Ángel Romero’s penalty. Argentina equalized in the forty first after substitute Giovani Lo Celso took a nook and located Nicolás González free in the field to go it dwelling.

Messi appeared to provide Argentina a lead in the 57th, however a video reviewed choice by Brazilian referee Raphael Claus discovered a foul for Paraguay 27 seconds earlier when the ball was nonetheless in Argentina’s half.

Messi almost scored from a free kick 14 minutes later, however Paraguayan goalkeeper Antony Silva made the save of the match in the highest left nook.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni needed to be artistic for the match. Messi began with ache in his left ankle, and defender Nicolás Tagliafico had to get replaced by González, who often performs as a striker at Stuttgart.

“I was not surprised because I played like this in Germany,” González stated. “We all know what my position is, but I want to help this team as much as I can.”

Scaloni misplaced midfielder Exequiel Palacios after solely half-hour to a again harm sustained in in collision with Paraguayan Ángel Romero’s knee.

Palacios’ alternative Lo Celso ended as the most effective on the pitch, however Argentina’s coach believes Romero might have been despatched off if there had been a VAR choice. Scaloni additionally stated Palacios might be sidelined for months due to the harm.

“There’s a lot of plays in which (VAR) could have been used today and it wasn’t. I am not talking about bad or good intentions,” Scaloni stated, including Argentina’s disallowed purpose mustn’t have been canceled. “No one likes soccer like this.”

Ángel Di Maria, who was initially anticipated to begin, entered in the second half however was unable to provide a purpose for Argentina’s much-needed dwelling win.


Ecuador’s win in La Paz was determined in the ultimate minutes. But a big second for Bolivia occurred earlier, off the pitch at Hernando Siles stadium, when investigators arrested the interim president of the nation’s soccer federation, Marcos Rodríguez.

Local media broadcast a video exhibiting Rodriguez, who’s accused of corruption, being escorted by investigators throughout halftime. Bolivia’s soccer federation, which has been in political turmoil because the dea-th of César Salinas in July, had been scheduled to elect a brand new president on Friday.

Juan Carlos Arce opened the scoring for the hosts in the thirty seventh minute, with an angled low shot to the left nook of Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez.

The Ecuadorians equalized a minute after halftime when defender Beder Caicedo calmly entered the penalty field and scored with a left-foot shot.

Ángel Mena put the guests in entrance in the fifty fifth, beating Bolivia’s Enrique Flores on the proper fringe of the field and, with a exact shot, squeezing the ball between Carlos Lampe’s arms and the left put up.

Bolivia equalized on the hour when captain Marcelo Martins headed dwelling after a nook. But it ended in disappointment for the hosts when a VAR choice went to Ecuador for a handball by Adrián Jusino.

Carlos Gruezo scored from the spot two minutes from time to seal the win.

____ AP author Debora Rey contributed to this report from Buenos Aires, Argentina.


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