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2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Lionel Messi disappointed with goalless draw against Paraguay

Argentina and Uruguay settled for draws against Paraguay and Colombia in their respective World Cup qualifier fixtures. At Asuncion, Argentina looked in control for most of the match, but struggled to find a way to overtake the hosts’ defense line as captain Lionel Messi failed to perform the miracle Argentina were hoping for.

Lionel Messi’s best scoring opportunity came when he swung a first-half free-kick slightly wide of the far post. Argentina are unbeaten from their nine qualifiers so far with five wins and four draws, while Paraguay has won two, with six draws with two losses. Meanwhile, Colombia scored a crucial point away from home at the Gran Parque Central Stadium in Montevideo against Uruguay, who controlled the game well in the first half but were unlucky not to advance.

Luis Suárez’s goal in 22 minutes was denied as the flag went up for offside, with Suárez later losing an open opportunity ahead of his standards, only to beat goalkeeper David Ospina. Colombia got their best opportunity to seal the deal on 77 minutes when Atlanta striker Duvan Zupata sent a sneaky effort straight at the goalkeeper. Colombia now have 14 points from 10 qualifiers, two points behind Uruguay.

in Caracas, Brazil is up late to keep its 2022 World Cup qualifying record on track with a 3-1 away win against Venezuela. The hosts stunned the five-time World Cup winners with an Eric Ramirez header in the 11th minute following a cross from Yepherson Sotaldo. Due to the suspension, Brazil was missing its star talent Neymar.

Coach Tite introduced Leeds attacker Rafinha and Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr. in the second half, which made an immediate impact as Brazil began to attack more readily. PSG defender Marquinhos equalized in the 71st minute with a big header from a corner-kick. Goals from Gabriel Barbosa and Anthony took the visitors to the lead with a penalty and a goal in extra time.

In Lima, Peru kept their hopes of qualifying for the second consecutive FIFA World Cup alive with a 2–0 home win over Chile. Cristian Cueva gave the hosts the lead in the 35th minute. Sergio Pea doubled the lead after the hour mark with a drive less than 12 yards after Yoshimar Yotun returned from the post after a long-range effort. Peru now has 11 points in the qualifiers for the South American region, four points ahead of Chile.

Ecuador beat Bolivia 3-0 and Ener Valencia made a brace in the first half. Michael Estrada opened the scoring at the quarter-hour mark as he headed home after a Byron Castillos cross. Valencia doubled the lead with a cool finish in the bottom right corner. The former West Ham and Everton player hit the target again two minutes later when he combined with Estrada to fire a pass.

The result leaves Ecuador in third place in the 10-team South American zone standings with 16 points from 10 matches. Bolivia is in ninth place with six points.

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