Highlights: Argentina defeated Venezuela
Lautaro Martínez opened the scoring in injury time of the first half. Giovanni Lo Celso assisted with Joaquín Correa scored second in Argentina in the 71st minute after a quick confrontation with Messi. Martín Nas Ángel Correa made a triple from close range three minutes later. Argentina defeated Venezuela 3-1 at the Olympic Stadium in Caracas on Thursday, ranking second in the South American World Cup qualifiers.
The Copa América champions played the seventh game of the world tie with a men’s advantage in the 32nd minute. Venezuelan defender Adrián Martínez was sent off with a red card after a hard tackle on Lionel Messi.
Lautaro Martínez opened the scoring in injury time of the first half, and Giovanni Lo Celso assisted. After a quick clash with Messi and Martínez, Joaquín Correa scored the Argentine team’s second goal from the edge of the penalty area in the 71st minute. Three minutes later, Angel Correa scored from close range.
Yeferson Soteldo scored for the home team from the perspective of the end of the game.
“Today we had a great first half and they were one behind,” Martinez said. “After scoring, we can handle more holes in order to bring three points home.”
Venezuela has never qualified for the World Cup. After 7 games, they scored only 4 points and finished bottom in the 10 team round robin. The top four will automatically be eligible to compete in Qatar next year. The fifth team will participate in the international playoffs.
In this round of South American qualifiers, due to the COVID19 restrictions imposed by the British government on countries in the region, several English players were unable to play. However, Argentina did not lose any of the four players it recruited.
Their next game will be against leader and rival Brazil, Brazil will miss 9 Premier League players, including 5 regular starters. La Selecao will play in Chile late Thursday and will face Argentina in Sao Paulo on Sunday.
If Argentina loses in Venezuela, it will be overtaken by Ecuador, which defeated Paraguay 20 hours ago. In the 88th minute, Felix Torres scored with a header. Michael Estrada scored in stoppage time. Argentina scored 15 points and Ecuador ranked third with 12 points.
Ecuador will face Chile in the next round, while Paraguay will face Colombia.
Colombia almost beat Bolivia at the height of La Paz. In the 69th minute, a goal by Roger Martínez gave Colombia the lead and in the 83rd minute, a blast from Fernando Sosedo from outside the penalty area tied Bolivia.