September 22, 2021

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FIFA World Cup 2022 – News – Argentina held by Paraguay, Ecuador win away

11 min read
FIFA World Cup 2022™ - News - Argentina held by Paraguay, Ecuador win away
  • South American qualifying for Qatar 2022 resumed on Thursday
  • Ecuador edged Bolivia 3-2 in a La Paz thriller
  • Paraguay held Argentina to a 1-1 attract Buenos Aires

Paraguay and Ecuador registered admirable leads to Argentina and Bolivia to hike their hopes of reaching the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

Angel Romero dispatched a penalty fantastically gained by Miguel Almiron to place La Albirroja forward at La Bombonera, and though Nicolas Gonzalez equalised simply earlier than the break, La Albiceleste, who had a Lionel Messi aim disallowed thereafter, have been unable to discover a winner. The draw left Paraguay on 5 factors from three video games, and ended Argentina’s 100-per-cent file within the South American preliminaries.

Earlier, Ecuador got here from behind to eke out an exhilarating 3-2 victory in Bolivia, with Carlos Gruezo’s late penalty figuring out the result. La Tri marched on to 6 factors from a doable 9 in Qatar 2022 qualifying and left their hosts pointless. Encouragingly for Ecuador, they’ve already performed regional powerhouses Argentina and Uruguay, whereas two of their three video games have been away.

Did you realize?

  • Nicolas Gonzalez scored Argentina’s first header direct from a nook in a World Cup qualifier in 20 years. Roberto Ayala had netted the final from a Juan Sebastian Veron cross in opposition to Venezuela in 2000.
  • Angel Di Maria got here on for his 103rd cap, leaving him simply three shy of fifth-positioned Diego Simeone on Argentina’s most-capped gamers.
  • Paraguay have impressively misplaced simply certainly one of their final seven World Cup qualifiers away to Argentina.
  • La Albirroja have stopped Messi from scoring on six of the ten events he has confronted them.
  • Paraguay are actually unbeaten of their final 4 World Cup qualifiers away from dwelling (3 wins, 1 draw).

Argentina 1-1 Paraguay

Paraguay made a promising begin. Argentina goalkeeper Franco Armani did effectively to dash from his line and deny Almiron a run on aim, earlier than Gaston Gimenez broke into the field and flashed a shot narrowly extensive.

Almiron then did fantastically to win the guests a penalty, sprinting purposefully, panicking the Argentinian defenders and forcing Lucas Martínez Quarta right into a foul. Romero, who performs his membership soccer in Argentina with San Lorenzo, made no mistake from the spot.

Argentina suffered an extra blow as Exequiel Palacios hobbled off, with Giovani Lo Celso approaching in his place, however Nicolas Gonzalez immediately had them again on phrases. Lo Celso swung in a nook and the Stuttgart man produced a bullet header for his first worldwide aim.

Messi, quiet till that time, flashed his incomparable genius and when the ball discovered Rodrigo De Paul, who not too long ago instructed he’d “go to war” if Messi requested him to, unleashed a protracted-vary screamer that Antony Silva did effectively to push around the publish. Paraguay can have been relieved to listen to the half-time whistle moments later.

Argentina started the second half within the ascendency. Lautaro Martinez gained a ball he had no proper to win contained in the Paraguay field however could not preserve his snap-shot on track.

La Albiceleste then put collectively a superb passing transfer. It culminated with Do Celso cannily chopping the ball again for Messi, whose first-time end beat Silva, just for the aim to be dominated out for a foul.

After 72 minutes, ‘The Atomic Flea’ despatched a free-kick curling in the direction of the highest nook, however Silva produced a tremendous tip-over at full stretch. Messi had one final probability, a stoppage-time free-kick, however he despatched it into the wall and Paraguay held on for some extent.


“I applaud the great effort of our footballers. The game demanded a lot from us defensively. We prevented Argentina finding players in space.”

Eduardo Berizzo, Paraguay coach

“We were a bit uncomfortable in the first half. Lo Celso made a real impact. Once we encouraged ourselves to have more of the ball, we spent more time in their half.”

Nicolas Otamendi, Argentina defender

Did you realize?

  • Caicedo’s aim was scored simply 49 seconds into the second half. It was the second-quickest second-half aim Ecuador had ever netted in World Cup qualifying.
  • Ecuador win a World Cup qualifier away from dwelling after trailing at half-time for the primary time ever.
  • Ecuador ended a run of 5 successive away defeats in World Cup qualifying. Their final victory on the highway had been a 3-1 win in Venezuela 5 years in the past to this month.
  • Ecuador stay unbeaten away to Bolivia since 1997, when early targets from Jaime Moreno and Marco Etcheverry secured a 2-0 dwelling win in France 1998 qualifying.
  • Arce’s aim was his sixth in World Cup qualifiers and first together with his left foot. Four of his earlier efforts got here together with his proper, with the opposite a header.
  • Marcelo Martins’ aim in opposition to Ecuador noticed him develop into Bolivia’s joint-main all-time marksman alongside Joaquin Botero (20 targets apiece).
  • Martins was born in Bolivia to a Bolivian mom and a Brazilian father, a former decrease-league footballer. He represented Brazil at U-18 stage, alongside FIFA Puskas Award winner Wendell Lira, Willian and Alexandre Pato, and U-20 stage. Surprisingly, shortly after his twentieth birthday, he accepted a senior name-up from Bolivia.

Bolivia 2-3 Ecuador

Ecuador started the sport on prime, however struggled to create any significant probabilities in opposition to a good inexperienced wall. As the half wore on Bolivia started to get into the competition, and so they made the breakthrough on 37 minutes.

Jorge Flores discovered Juan Arce inside the realm, and he calmly fired the ball dwelling. It was the 35-yr-previous’s first aim for membership or nation since scoring for Bolivar in January, and the twelfth aim of his 16-yr worldwide profession.

Angel Mena had an incredible probability to equalise nearly instantly, however Carlos Lampe made a terrific save.

Within two minutes of the restart, nonetheless, Ecuador have been stage. Left-wingback Beder Caicedo burst ahead and firmly fired dwelling his first worldwide aim. Mena then smashed the ball in off the underside of the crossbar to place La Tri forward.

A wild begin to the second half took one other swing on the hour. Aerial grasp Marcelo Martins rose highest to move dwelling an Arce nook and make it 2-2.

‘Triple M’ nearly restored La Verde‘s lead quickly after, however Alexander Dominguez made a tremendous save, earlier than Bolivia substitute Henry Vaca hit the woodwork. The hosts continued to offer it an actual go, however with three minutes of regular time remaining, have been punished.

The three targets Ecuador conceded of their opening two qualifiers have been all penalties, which coach Gustavo Alfaro lamented in an interview with, however this time the spot-kick determination was of their favour. After a handball, Carlos Gruezo despatched Lampe the mistaken approach from 12 yards to grab victory.


“It’s an illustration of this team, which always goes in search of victory. We were deserved winners. Sometimes your performances leads you to win by a bigger margin, but the most important thing is that we won.”
Gustavo Alfaro, Ecuador coach

South America’s prime worldwide scorers

Statistics up to date after Thursday’s video games.

Player Country Goals Games Ratio
Pele Brazil 77 91 0.85
Lionel Messi Argentina 71 141 0.50
Neymar Brazil 64 103 0.62
Ronaldo Brazil 62 98 0.63
Luis Suarez Uruguay 62 115 0.54
Romario Brazil 55 70 0.79
Edinson Cavani Uruguay 50 116 0.43
Zico Brazil 48 71 0.68
Alexis Sanchez Chile 45 134 0.34
Sergio Aguero Argentina 41 97 0.42

FIFA Ranking

Argentina are eighth general and third in South America, behind Uruguay (seventh) and Brazil (third), on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. Paraguay are thirty fifth general and eighth within the area.

Ecuador and Bolivia are sixtieth and 79th on the worldwide ladder, occupying the underside two spots in South America.

World Cup participations

Country Participations
Brazil 21
Argentina 17
Uruguay 13
Chile 9
Paraguay 8
Colombia 6
Peru 5
Bolivia 3
Ecuador 3
Venezuela 0 exclusives

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Friday’s qualifiers

Colombia-Uruguay (17:30 native time)
Chile-Peru (20:00 native time)
Brazil-Venezuela (21:30 native time)

You can observe the three matches on

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