Ecuador continues its revival with a precious victory over Bolivia in the third round of World Cup 2022 qualifiers
Argentina wasted two points in the South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, when it overturned its guest star Paraguay to a 1-1 draw, in a match that witnessed controversy over the goal of Lionel Messi and the player Ezequiel Palacios was seriously injured.
After defeating Ecuador with two poor results (1-0) and then Bolivia (2-1), Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, the best player in the world six times, faced a higher-level team that succeeded in snatching a tie point from the champions of 1978 and 1986.
Despite the tie, Argentina made a convincing performance and was close to victory, had it not been for the video assistant referee’s interference to deny Messi the winning goal in the second half. Argentina raised its score to 7 points from three games, and its lead was threatened, in the event that Brazil (6) won over Venezuela later.
At the “La Bombonera” stadium in the capital, Buenos Aires, and without fans due to restrictions preventing the outbreak of the new Corona virus, Paraguay got a penalty kick in the middle of the first half, after Lucas Martinez Quarta stood in the face of Miguel Almiron, translated by Angel Romero on the floor in the goal of Franco Armani in the 22nd minute , Scoring his third goal in the qualifiers. It did not stop at the goal of shaking Argentina’s goal, as it received another blow by injury to Palacios during a competition for a high ball with Angel Romero to enter Giovanni Lu Celso instead. The Argentine Federation announced that Palacios, 22, a German Bayer Leverkusen player, suffered a direct injury in the lower back, and X-rays confirmed that there was a fracture in one of the lower vertebrae.
But Argentina, which were missed by striker Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala, equalized before entering the halftime break from a corner kick for Aluselso, Palacios’ substitute in the first half, which was met by Nicholas Gonzalez, the Stuttgart striker, with a strong header into the net in the 40th minute. Gonzalez, 22, said, (4 international matches) who played in a late position in midfield «In Germany, I played as a left back with a defensive line of five or four players. We know that it is not central, but I try to help the team from any location. ”
And this is the first vertical goal resulting from a direct corner, scored by Argentina in 20 years in World Cup qualifiers. Its coach, Lionel Scaloni, said: “After the penalty kick, we were the best party … especially in the second half … Although we did not win, we must extract the positives from this performance.” Argentina possessed 68 per cent of the ball, but the high pressure from Paraguay players limited the risk of Messi and his team-mates. Lautaro Martinez and Lucas Ocampos searched for Messi supplies, while the returnee, Angel Di Maria, entered the last half hour to play his 103rd international match.
But Messi, who had doubts about his participation in an ankle injury, created opportunities for his teammates, especially Inter Milan striker Martinez, and succeeded in shaking the net in the 57th minute, but the referee canceled the goal after resorting to the video assistant referee system (FAR), due to a mistake committed about 30 seconds before Housing the ball into the net. Coach Scaloni commented: “You have to make the video judging system consistent … There were other situations in which it could be activated, in terms of the time between committing a mistake and counting the offense.” The crossbar also repelled a far free kick by Messi in the 72nd minute, to end the match in a draw before Argentina’s confrontation with its host Peru on Tuesday.
On the other hand, Paraguay remained unbeaten, raising its score to 5 points from 3 matches. She has only lost one orphan in the last seven matches against Argentina in the World Cup qualifiers.
In a second match, Ecuador continued its revival by defeating its host Bolivia 3 – 2 in La Paz.
Bolivia was the first to score through Juan Carlos Arsi in the 37th minute, but the visitors responded strongly at the start of the second half with two goals by left defender Peder Caicedo in the 46th minute and the Mexican Lyon midfielder Angel Mina Delgado (55). But the guests’ joy lasted only five minutes, as veteran Brazilian Cruzeiro striker Marcelo Martins Moreno managed to equalize.
At the time the match was breathing its last, Ecuador won a penalty kick after a handball on defender Adrian Josino, which was confirmed after resorting to video assistant referee Vanbrey for her Augsburg midfielder Carlos Grueso successfully scoring the winning goal in the 88th minute.
This is the first time that Ecuador achieved a victory away from home in the qualifiers after being late in the first half, putting an end to five successive losses away from home. “(The result) sums up this team, which is always looking to win,” said Argentine Ecuadorean coach Gustavo Alvaro. We deserve this victory. ”
It is the second consecutive victory for Ecuador after the first at its home in Uruguay, 4-2 in the second round, after losing to host Argentina 0-1 in the first round.
On the other hand, bottom-ranked Bolivia suffered its third loss in succession after the first to its host Brazil by five clean, and the second against its guest Argentina 1-2, leaving it in last place without a score.