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Argentina has it easy against Uruguay

Colombia snaps Brazil’s winning run; Panama stuns USA

Two goals in the minutes before half-time, one of them an unusually fortunate counter from Lionel Messi, helped Argentina on its way to a comfortable 3-0 win over Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier here on Sunday.

Eight minutes before the break Messi floated a 35-metre pass into the area but it was missed by both advancing striker Nicolas Gonzalez and goalkeeper Fernando Muslera and somehow sneaked into the net.

Six minutes later Lautaro Martinez missed at a chance on the edge of the box but the loose ball fell into the path of Rodrigo De Paul who made no mistake.

Martinez made up when he converted a low cross from De Paul 17 minutes into the second half.

Perfect game

“We played a great game,” said Messi. “Everything worked out perfectly.”

“Uruguay wait for you and they generate danger. Once we got the first goal we started to find space and the goals appeared.”

The win, combined with Brazil’s 0-0 draw at Colombia earlier in the day, narrows the gap between leader Brazil and second-placed Argentina to six points at the top of the 10-team South American qualifying group.

The stalemate also ended Brazil’s nine-match winning run.

In the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, Anibal Godoy’s 54th-minute goal gave host Panama a historic 1-0 victory to end USA’s unbeaten run

The results:

South America: Bolivia 1 (R. Vaca 82) bt Peru 0; Venezuela 2 (Machis 45+1, Bello 64) bt Ecuador 1 (Valencia 37-pen); Colombia 0 drew with Brazil 0; Argentina 3 (Messi 38, De Paul 44, Martinez 62) bt Uruguay 0; Chile 2 (Brereton 68, Isla 72) bt Paraguay 0.

CONCACAF: Jamaica 0 drew with Canada 0; Costa Rica 2 (Ruiz 52, Borges 58-pen) bt El Salvador 1 (Henriquez 12); Panama 1 (Godoy 54) bt United States 0; Mexico 3 (Cordova 18, Funes Mori 76, Lozano 86) bt Honduras 0.

Africa: Mauritania 0 drew with Tunisia 0; Zambia 1 (Sakala 65) drew with Equatorial Guinea 1 (Bikoro 82); Cape Verde 1 (Mendes 90) bt Liberia 0; Central African Republic 0 lost to Nigeria 2 (Balogun 29, Osimhen 45+1); Uganda 1 (Bayo 22) bt Rwanda 0; Kenya 0 lost to Mali 1 (Kone 55); Madagascar 1 (Rakotoharimalala 2) bt Democratic Republic of Congo 0; Benin 0 lost to Tanzania 1 (Msuva 6).

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