Argentina enjoy comfortable win over Venezuela
Argentina extended their unbeaten run to 21 games on Thursday with a comfortable 3-1 win over Venezuela in their World Cup qualifier in Caracas.
Ribeiro gives Brazil win over Chile
BUENOS AIRES: Argentina extended their unbeaten run to 21 games on Thursday with a comfortable 3-1 win over Venezuela in their World Cup qualifier in Caracas.
Venezuela had beaten Argentina only once in 14 previous World Cup qualifiers and their hopes of doing it again on Thursday were snuffed out when Luis Adrian Martinez was shown a straight red card for a foul on Lionel Messi after half an hour.
Argentina then took complete control and got the opener just seconds before half time when Lautaro Martinez took a neat pass from Giovani Lo Celso and slipped the ball under the advancing keeper.
With a man advantage the visitors had most of the ball in the second half and added two more goals in the 71st and 74th minutes through substitutes Joaquin Correa and Angel Correa.
Yeferson Soteldo scored a consolation penalty for Venezuela in stoppage time.
Messi started his first match since the final of the Copa America on July 10 and his flicks and jinks frequently ended with him being fouled as Venezuela struggled to contain him.
Everton Ribeiro came off the bench to score the goal that gave Brazil a barely deserved 1-0 win over Chile and maintained their 100% record in 2022 World Cup qualifying.
Chile matched Brazil for most of a bad-tempered match but Ribeiro fired home after 64 minutes to give the visitors all three points.
Brazil have won all seven of their qualifiers so far and the five-times world champions are six points clear of Argentina in the 10-team South American group.
Chile have won just one of their seven games and face two testing away matches against Ecuador on Sunday and Colombia next week.
In the other late game on Thursday, Peru drew 1-1 with Uruguay in Lima. Renato Tapia gave the home side the lead after 24 minutes but Giorgian de Arrascaeta equalized five minutes later for Uruguay.
Substitute Fernando Saucedo scored a stunning late goal to give home side Bolivia a 1-1 draw against Colombia in their World Cup qualifier in La Paz.
Colombia had not lost to Bolivia for 10 games and they will feel aggrieved at not leaving with all three points after taking the lead in the 69th minute when Roger Martinez cut in from the right and slipped the ball into the far corner of the net.
The goal, however, roused Bolivia and Saucedo fired home from 30 meters to level the scores with seven minutes left on the clock.
Ecuador scored two late goals to beat Paraguay 2-0, a result that keeps them firmly in the running for an automatic qualifying spot for Qatar 2022. Agencies