CONMEBOL qualifying: Argentina claim robbery in Paraguay draw

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A roundup of Thursday’s action in South America’s (CONMEBOL) 2022 World Cup qualifying, where Argentina were perhaps robbed of two points against Paraguay, and Ecuador required a late penalty kick to beat last-place Bolivia…

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Argentina 1-1 Paraguay

Argentina fought back from an early deficit to seemingly go ahead just before the hour mark, only to have Lionel Messi’s goal taken off the board for a phantom infringement long before the ball hit the back of the net.

Angel Romero converted from the penalty spot in the 21st minute to put Paraguay 1-0 ahead, but the lead didn’t quite last until halftime as Nicolas Gonzalez sent a thunderous header home from a corner kick in the 41st minute to pull Argentina back to 1-1.

Messi’s apparent moment of magic came in the 57th minute, when Tottenham Hotspur’s Giovani Lo Celso found the Barcelona superstar darting to the penalty spot. Messi stroked the ball off the outstretched hand of Antony Silva and over the goal line. More than two minutes passed as the play came under video review, with the goal ultimately being ruled out for a foul which is yet to be identified by officials.

Alas, Argentina sit atop the South American table with seven points from their first three games. Brazil, the only side yet to drop a point in qualifying, will be in action on Friday.


Bolivia 2-3 Ecuador

Ecuador fell behind Bolivia after 37 minutes, pulled back to level terms in the 46th and went ahead in the 55th. Bolivia hit back with an equalizer of their own in the 60th minute, but former FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo made it 3-2 from the penalty spot in the 88th minute.

2022 World Cup qualifying schedule

Friday

Colombia v Uruguay — 3:30 pm ET
Chile v Peru — 6 pm ET
Brazil v Venezuela — 7:30 pm ET

Tuesday

Ecuador v Colombia — 4 pm ET
Venezuela v Chile — 4 pm ET
Uruguay v Brazil — 6 pm ET
Paraguay v Bolivia — 6 pm ET
Peru v Argentina — 7:30 pm ET