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World Cup

Like Nigeria, Messi’s Argentina also stunned at home!



Soccer Football - World Cup - South American Qualifiers - Argentina v Uruguay - Estadio La Bombonera, Buenos Aires, Argentina - November 16, 2023 Argentina's Lionel Messi reacts REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian Acquire Licensing Rights  

Nigeria Super Eagels were not the only big name stunned in as flurry of upsets characterise the week’s World Cup qualifying series.

Argentina will also be looking to bounce back after dropping their first points in five games in the South America World Cup Qualifiers, losing 2-0 at home to Uruguay on Thursday but keeping their place at the top of the standings.

Goals in each half from Ronald Araujo and Darwin Nunez gave Uruguay victory over Lionel Messi’s Argentina in a nervy affair at the World Cup champions’ Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires.

The visitors were the better side from start to finish and the win put them second in the standings on 10 points, two behind Argentina.

Araujo scored in the 41st minute with a first time strike from inside the box that was just beyond goalkeeper Emiliano Martinezm, and Nunez secured the points with a tidy finish in a counter-attack in the 87th.


“They are a strong and physical team and played with more intensity. We struggled mightily to find ourselves and our game,” Messi told TyC Sports.

“We never felt comfortable, didn’t find a way to end up with the ball or the control of the actions, were not able to have long possessions, didn’t create chances and played the game that they wanted, in their rhythm. They are a physical team that bring a lot of danger in the counter-attacks and they showed that with the goals they scored.”

Colombia are third on nine points, one ahead of Venezuela who were held to a goalless draw at home by sixth-placed Ecuador, who are one point behind Brazil, who are fifth on seven points.





Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.