CONMEBOL WCQ Rewind: Paraguay holds Argentina to draw, Ecuador edges Bolivia

CONMEBOL WCQ Rewind: Paraguay holds Argentina to draw, Ecuador edges Bolivia

Matchday 3 of South America’s World Cup Qualifiers began on Thursday, and once again VAR was a talking point.

Paraguay held Argentina to a 1-1 draw at La Bombonera in Buenos Aires, but only after video review negated a go-ahead goal from Lionel Messi. La albiceleste thought it had taken a 2-1 lead after Messi finished off a great team sequence in the 57th minute, but the strike was disallowed because of a foul that happened well before when the host side initially won possession of the ball.

The call combined with Paraguay’s robust defense helped to give La albirroja a road point in a match in which it led. Angel Romero scored from the spot in the 21st minute after former Atlanta United playmaker Miguel Almiron was fouled in the penalty area, but Argentina’s Nicolas Gonzalez canceled the goal out with a thumping header four minutes before halftime.

Earlier in the day, Ecuador went into the famous La Paz altitude and edged Bolivia, 3-2, in a rollercoaster affair. La Tricolor won it late via a penalty from former FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo, marking the first time in nine qualifiers that stretched back to 2015 that Ecuador won away from home.

Bolivia initially took the lead at Estadio Olimpico Hernan Siles through Juan Carlos Arce’s low finish in the 37th minute, but second-half goals from Beder Caicedo and Angel Mena that came 10 minutes apart flipped the script and put Ecuador ahead.

La Verde equalized shortly thereafter through a nodded effort from striker Marcelo Martins Moreno, but Gruezo’s 88th-minute spot kick gave Ecuador the three points.

Here is the updated CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying table:

Standings

1. Brazil……….6 pts……….+7 GD
2. Argentina……….7 pts……….+2 GD
3. Ecuador……….6 pts……….+2 GD
4. Paraguay……….5 pts………. +1 GD
5. Colombia……….4 pts……….+3 GD
6. Uruguay……….3 pts……….-1 GD
7. Chile……….1 pt……….-1 GD
8. Peru………. 1 pt……….-2 GD
9. Venezuela……….0 pts……….-4 GD
10. Bolivia……….0 pts……….-7 GD