That concludes our commentary of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier between Argentina and Uruguay! We hope you’ve enjoyed it!
Argentina are in action again on Thursday, when they host Peru. Uruguay will look to get back to winning ways next Friday, when they travel to face Bolivia.
Argentina’s work was done in the first half after netting twice in quick succession through Messi and De Paul, but Lautaro Martinez’s goal at the 62nd minute put the result beyond reach as the hosts cruise to a 3-0 victory over Uruguay. Despite a number of positive changes in the second half, Tabarez’s side failed to get anything meaningful going in attack, with Cavani’s overhead kick the best chance registered in the second half by the Celeste. Another dominant defensive performance sees Scaloni’s side cut Brazil’s lead at the top of the table to six points, while Uruguay remain fourth – in an automatic qualification place – as things stand.
90′ + 3′ FULL-TIME: ARGENTINA 3-0 URUGUAY.
90′ + 1′ The fourth official signals that an additional three minutes will be played for stoppages.
89′ Appeals for handball from Alvarez, as Di Maria’s cross looked to strike the arm of Godin. The referee denies the claims and rightfully so – as replays suggest the ball came off the chest of the defender.
87′ Di Maria floats another superb ball over the top of Urugay’s defence for Messi, but the delivery fails to drop at the appropriate moment as the Argentina captain tracks the pass over his shoulder only to see it roll behind for a goal-kick.
85′ Suarez shrugs his shoulders and has a strike from way too far out, which bounces comfortably for Emiliano Martinez, who can make an easy and comfortable save.
83′ Di Maria switches play to the far side of Uruguay’s penalty area for Messi, but a well-timed Coates tackle wins the ball back for his country just in front of Muslera.
81′ Argentina’s final change of the evening is a defensive one as Otamendi is recalled to the bench. Medina is his replacement.
79′ Messi goes for goal himself from a long way out, but he sends his curling left-footed effort just wide of the far post!
77′ Vecino sends a cross to the edge of the penalty area for Nunez, who’s unable to corral the pass as it goes behind for a goal-kick. It’s been that kind of evening for Uruguay – who are seemingly waiting for time to expire as they attempt to limit the damage.
75′ PSG’s Paredes is also done for the evening, with Bayer Leverkusen’s Palacios tasked with patrolling the midfield for the remainder of the game.
75′ Fiorentina’s Nicolas Gonzalez sees his number come up on the fourth official’s board with 15 minutes remaining. Alvarez of River Plate comes on in his place.
73′ Giovanni Gonzalez is sent on as Uruguay continue to change things. Araujo is the man to make way.
71′ Play is stopped momentarily by the referee to allow Suarez a chance to regroup after a hard foul from Otamendi in midfield leaves the Atletico Madrid striker on his haunches.
69′ It’s been almost exactly nine years since Argentina managed three goals against Uruguay – in a 3-0 victory on October 12, 2012. Messi scored twice, either side of a Sergio Aguero goal.
67′ Valverde chips a Uruguay free-kick into the penalty area, where it’s met by the head of Otamendi – who can only push it to the far post. Cavani is closest to the ball and attempts an audacious overhead kick which fails to hit the target as Emiliano Martinez gathers for a goal-kick.
65′ De Paul’s evening is over as well, as Di Maria is given a chance to stretch his legs.
65′ Argentina opt to make two changes at this juncture as well, with Joaquin Correa coming on for goal scorer Lautaro Martinez.
63′ Piquerez is sent on with 27 minutes remaining as Vina is recalled to the bench.
63′ Uruguay make a couple of changes after conceding the third, as Torreira is sent on for Nandez.
62′ Lo Celso attempted to get on the end of De Paul’s cross, but his inability to turn it home provided a wonderful opportunity for Lautaro Martinez. As such, it’s Lo Celso who’s awarded the assist!
62′ FANTASTIC GOAL! 3-0 ARGENTINA! Messi holds up play inside the penalty area before distributing it to the right flank for De Paul. The Atletico Madrid midfielder then slips a lovely pass across the face of goal for Lautaro Martinez, who coolly slots his shot home at the far post!
61′ The tests don’t get any easier for Uruguay, who are tasked with Peru before meeting Argentina for a second time and Brazil in the next international break.
59′ Paredes is a bit too eager to win the ball back in midfield, bringing Vecino to the ground after a mistimed tackle.
57′ In seven meetings since 2013, this is the third time Argentina have scored two or more goals against Uruguay. Tabarez’s side have been kept without a goal in four of the seven encounters.
55′ Vecino tugs De Paul to the ground 15 yards outside the Uruguay penalty area. The ensuing free-kick is taken short to the left, where Nicolas Gonzalez wins a throw-in from the high-pressing Nandez.
53′ The chance goes begging for Nunez, who breaks through the heart of midfield – beating Otamendi in the process – before firing a shot that goes well over the crossbar.
51′ Valverde’s corner taken to the near post in search of Cavani is a poor one that allows Molina to clear the ball from his area comfortably.
49′ De Paul’s set-piece is taken towards Tagliafico – who can only send his far-post header wide of the goal.
48′ Vina grabs the back of Messi’s collar and pulls it back just as the Argentina captain was bearing down onto the penalty area. It’s a free-kick for the hosts – but not a yellow card as Messi would have liked.
46′ Uruguay get the match restarted from the kick-off!
46′ Cavani is sent on as well by Tabarez, who recalls Brian Rodriguez to the bench.
46′ De La Cruz is withdrawn for Nunez at the half-time interval.
With clinical finishers Nunez and Cavani waiting on the bench, Tabarez certainly has options to swing the match back in his side’s favour. There isn’t a lack of chance creation from the visitors – just a problem with finishing which is peculiar considering Suarez’s penchant for goals. Argentina for their part have been a great defensive outfit this entire campaign, allowing just six goals in 10 matches. With Real Betis’ Guido Rodriguez and the experience of German Pezzella on offer from the bench, it wouldn’t be surprising for Scaloni to set his side’s sights on another clean sheet.
An entertaining first half at the Estadio Monumental comes to a close with Argentina leading 2-0, thanks to two goals in the last seven minutes of the half from Messi and De Paul. Uruguay seemed to be unlucky not to be in front despite barely seeing the ball, with Suarez forcing a number of great saves out of Emiliano Martinez – before striking the woodwork on a chance 28 minutes in. The Albiceleste would see out the storm and capitalise, however, with Messi’s fortunate long-range goal added to six minutes later by De Paul’s neat finish. Despite the score the match is far from over though, as Uruguay’s quality both on the pitch and on the bench could still make this a contest.
45′ + 2′ HALF-TIME: ARGENTINA 2-0 URUGUAY.
45′ + 1′ The fourth official indicates two minutes will be added for stoppages.
44′ It appears as though Lautaro Martinez got just enough of a touch to the ball to put it into the path of De Paul. As such – he’s credited with the assist.
44′ DE PAUL DOUBLES THE LEAD! Messi plays a chip into the penalty area from a central position for Laurato Martinez, who can only strike at air as he misses his volleyed effort. The loose ball fortunately rolls right into the path of the oncoming De Paul, who takes his opportunity and slots the ball past Muslera for just his second international goal! 2-0!
42′ Uruguay look to hit back immediately but a poor pass from Coates to Vina lets the ball roll out for an Argentina throw-in.
40′ Prior to Messi’s goal, Argentina had scored just once between the 30th and 45th minute in World Cup qualifying. That number jumps to two – tied for their lowest-scoring period of time in a match.
38′ Lo Celso’s simple pass to Messi is credited as the assist!
38′ ARGENTINA FIND THEMSELVES IN FRONT! 1-0! It’s come in unusual circumstances as Messi finds himself laughing in celebration with his team-mates – almost in disbelief. The PSG forward plays a lovely chip into the penalty area with the outside of his boot that bounces over the leg of Godin and Lautaro Martinez – also catching Muslera off-guard as it rolls into the back of the net seemingly in slow motion!
36′ With just under 10 minutes to go before half-time, Argentina have dominated the pace of play – holding onto 76% possession. It hasn’t dictated the chances though – as Uruguay can count themselves unlucky to not be winning the match after Suarez’s two gilt-edged chances.
34′ WHAT A CHANCE! Messi plays Lo Celso into the penalty area all alone, forcing Muslera to rush off his line in an attempt to close down the angle. The Spurs midfielder takes his time, rounding the keeper before looking to place the ball in the net between two stationed defenders – but he instead smacks the underside of the bar! Still 0-0!
32′ De La Cruz plays a Uruguay free-kick to the edge of the penalty area for Godin – whose weak backward header rolls comfortably into the hands of Emiliano Martinez.
30′ Molina’s simple square pass inside from the right finds De Paul, but the midfielder gets his attempted first-time cross all wrong – swinging at nothing but air as the attack breaks down.
28′ SUAREZ DENIED BY THE POST! De La Cruz finds Vecino on the left, and the Inter midfielder immediately picks his head up and puts a cross to the far post for the Atletico Madrid striker, but his flying volley smashes off the outside of the upright!
26′ HOW HAS HE MISSED?! De Paul’s fantastic cross from the right edge of the penalty area finds the run of Lautaro Martinez inside the penalty area – but the Inter striker’s lunging effort fails to hit the target.
24′ Uruguay’s organised defensive structure has Argentina scrambling for answers as De Paul and Paredes knock it around in midfield looking for a gap. A clever pass from the left is finally hit over the top for Molina to run onto – but it’s hit with too much pace as it goes past the byline.
22′ GREAT SAVE FROM EMILIANO MARTINEZ! Nandez’s cross from the right is met by a first-time volley by Vina, who plays it beautifully into the path of Suarez. The Atletico Madrid striker looks to hit the effort at the first-time of asking, but his scissor-kick is parried well by the goalkeeper.
21′ Molina’s fantastic cross from the right comes all the way out to the far post after Godin’s missed clearance – but a lapse in concentration from Nicolas Gonzalez puts the ball behind for a goal-kick.
19′ Argentina’s first-ever international fixture came against Uruguay 119 years ago in Montevideo. The result was a dominant 6-0 victory for the Albiceleste.
17′ Lo Celso tries a clever slipped pass through the heart of the defence for Lautaro Martinez, but Godin’s experience puts him in the right place at the right time – sticking a leg in to intercept the service.
15′ A giveaway in midfield gets Uruguay in possession inside Argentina’s half, but a poor pass from Suarez after lovely hold-up play gives no chance for Nandez to get onto the end of it.
13′ Otamendi catches De La Cruz with a late tackle – sending the wide midfielder to the ground holding his shins. It’s a free-kick for the visitors, who haven’t seen very much of the ball so far.
11′ Uruguay look to have changed their shape slightly to deal with Argentina’s dominance on the ball. Nandez and Vina have tucked inside to form a back five with Araujo, Godin and Coates patrolling the middle. Brian Rodriguez drops back towards the right wing while De La Cruz is shunted out to the left – leaving Suarez to play up top alone.
9′ CLOSE! Messi takes a corner-kick short and receives it back immediately before finding Lo Celso inside the penalty area. The midfielder cuts inside and looks to curl an effort to the far post – but without the requisite bend, the shot just sails wide of the target.
7′ GREAT SAVES! The ball falls kindly to Suarez inside the penalty area, who takes a powerful shot looking ot beat Emiliano Martinez at the near post. The goalkeeper parries the strike well, pushing it just outside the 18-yard box but Valverde latches onto the loose ball and hammers a shot which forces the Aston Villa goalkeeper into another great stop!
5′ Messi’s turn of pace gets him free on the left wing but a lovely cross is left unmet by both Tagliafico and Paredes – both of whom thought the other should be at the end of the delivery.
3′ Argentina have spent the opening three minutes in their own half, knocking it around from left to right as they look for an early opening in Uruguay’s midfield.
1′ Argentina get the match underway from the kick-off!
Uruguay make three changes from their starting line-up that earned a 0-0 draw with Colombia three days ago. Coates and Araujo earn places in the back four ahead of Gimenez and De Arrascaeta – which pushes Vina up the pitch into the left wing. The final switch is in central midfield, where River Plate’s De La Cruz get the nod ahead of Juventus’ Rodrigo Bentancur.
Argentina make three changes from the XI that drew 0-0 with Paraguay last time out. Tagliafico reprises his role at left-back displacing Marcos Acuna, while Nicolas Gonzalez and Lautaro Martinez replace Di Maria and Joaquin Correa in attack.
URUGUAY SUBS: Martin Campana, Sergio Rochet, Joaquin Piquerez, Giovanni Gonzalez, Martin Caceres, Fernando Gorriaran, Lucas Torreira, Agustin Alvarez, Gaston Pereiro, Darwin Nunez, Facundo Torres, Edinson Cavani.
URUGUAY XI (4-4-2): Fernando Muslera; Nahitan Nandez, Diego Godin, Sebastian Coates, Ronald Araujo; Matias Vecino, Nicolas De La Cruz, Federico Valverde, Matias Vina; Luis Suarez, Brian Rodriguez.
ARGENTINA SUBS: Franco Armani, Juan Musso, Facundo Medina, Gonzalo Montiel, German Pezzella, Angel Di Maria, Exequiel Palacios, Joaquin Correa, Alejandro Gomez, Guido Rodriguez, Julian Alvarez, Angel Correa.
ARGENTINA XI (4-2-3-1): Emiliano Martinez; Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Nicolas Tagliafico; Leonardo Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul; Nicolas Gonzalez, Lionel Messi, Giovani Lo Celso; Lautaro Martinez.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let’s take a look at how the two sides are lining up – starting with our hosts!
A 0-0 draw with Colombia three days ago arrested a run of two victories on the bounce for Uruguay, who have now drawn as many matches as they’ve won in CONMEBOL qualifying (four). The experienced Oscar Tabarez has successfully reached the World Cup proper three times in his second stint as national coach, reaching the tournament at every possible opportunity since he took over the side in the aftermath of their failed 2006 campaign.
Second-place Argentina are looking to close the gap with Brazil after the latter’s draw earlier today, which extended the lead at the top of the table to nine points. The Albiceleste have won two and drawn two in their last four matches, including two clean sheets. It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Lionel Scaloni’s side against their opponents today however, with Argentina managing three wins in their last six matches against Uruguay – all with a 1-0 score.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying match between Argentina and Uruguay!