Soccer Uruguay lead 2018 race, Argentina struggle

"We're sorry not to have got the three points which we had come for. I'm not happy with one point because we needed to win the match," Argentina coach Gerardo Martino said.

  • Published:
Uruguay's Abel Hernandez (C) shoots to score against Colombia during their 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Colombia at the Centenario stadium in Montevideo, Uruguay, October 13, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Pazos play Uruguay's Abel Hernandez (C) shoots to score against Colombia during their 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Colombia at the Centenario stadium in Montevideo, Uruguay, October 13, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Pazos (Reuters)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Argentina remain winless and goalless after their first two 2018 World Cup qualifiers following a 0-0 draw in Paraguay on Tuesday, while Brazil got off the mark in the South American group with a 3-1 home win over Venezuela.

Uruguay, Chile and Ecuador made it two wins from two games, with the Uruguayans shrugging off the absence of suspended strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani to top the group on goal difference after beating Colombia 3-0.

Ecuador, who stunned Argentina in Buenos Aires five days ago, scored another 2-0 win, this time at home over Bolivia and sit second in the 10-team group.

Chile followed up last week's win over Brazil with a 4-3 victory in Peru to sit third, ahead of Paraguay on four points, Brazil and Colombia on three, and 2014 World Cup finalists Argentina on one.

Without the injured Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez was tasked with leading the Argentina attack in Asuncion and headed a good Angel Di Maria cross just over the bar.

Tevez then suffered a broken nose early in the second half when he was hit by defender Victor Caceres's elbow going for a high ball and spent four minutes being bandaged up before returning the fray.

He was eventually substituted in the 75th minute and is still looking for his first Argentina goal in four years.

"We're sorry not to have got the three points which we had come for. I'm not happy with one point because we needed to win the match," Argentina coach Gerardo Martino said.

Brazil, without the suspended Neymar, raced into the lead after 40 seconds with the first of two first-half goals from Willian at the Castelao in Fortaleza.

Three minutes before halftime the midfielder doubled Brazil’s lead. Defender Filipe Luis crossed the ball, Oscar let it run and Willian tucked it away.

Venezuela pulled one back in the 64th minute through Christian Santos at a corner but striker Ricardo Oliveira restored Brazil's two-goal cushion nine minutes later.

 

URUGUAY TOP

Uruguay took the lead after 33 minutes when centre back Diego Godin rose to bullet home a header from a Carlos Sanchez corner kick.

Striker Diego Rolan added a second six minutes into the second half with a chip over goalkeeper David Ospina and substitute Abel Hernandez got a third after 87 minutes.

"We don't know if we'll get to Russia, for that we must work a lot in all these matches," said Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez. "We can't hope to win matches just with defensive tactics."

Juan Cuadrado was sent off in the dying moments at the Centenario to cap a miserable night for Colombia, who were without the injured James Rodriguez.

Copa America champions Chile beat 10-man Peru in Lima with two goals each from strikers Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas.

Sanchez put Chile in front but Peru equalised in the 10th minute through Jefferson Farfan.

Peru were reduced to 10 men in the 23rd minute after Christian Cueva was sent off for kicking out at Jorge Valdivia but still managed to grab the lead when Farfan converted a 36th-minute penalty.

Vargas pulled Chile level four minutes before halftime, Sanchez restored their lead in the 44th and Vargas scored his second four minutes into the second half.

Paolo Guerrero struck Peru's third in added time.

Ecuador, still on a high after their win in Buenos Aires, overcame the elements and a stuffy Bolivia side to win in Quito.

Miller Bolanos got the first goal in the 81st minute and Felipe Caicedo added a second from the penalty spot in injury time after he was felled in the box.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.