Uruguay hold Argentina, Paraguay rout Chile in World Cup qualifier

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Montevideo, Sep 1 (IANS) Argentina remained outside the automatic qualification places for next year’s FIFA World Cup after a goalless draw with Uruguay while Paraguay defeated Chile 3-0.

Agrentina’s Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi on Thursday created plenty of chances but were unable to find a way past a disciplined Uruguay defence at Estadio Centenario, reports Xinhua news agency.

Luis Suarez, who started the match despite battling a knee injury, limped off the pitch in the 83rd minute and appears doubtful for Uruguay’s next qualifier against Paraguay on Tuesday.

The result left Argentina fifth in the CONMEBOL South American zone standings with 23 points, a point behind third-placed Uruguay, with three matches remaining.

The top four teams at the end of the qualifying tournament will earn a direct berth at next year’s World Cup in Russia while the fifth-ranked side will book an intercontinental playoff spot.

Earlier on Thursday, Paraguay kept their slim qualification hopes alive with a shock 3-0 defeat of reigning Copa America champions Chile in Santiago.

Victor Caceres and Richard Ortiz scored in the second half after a 24th-minute own goal from Arturo Vidal.

Meanwhile, Colombia and Venezuela played out a goalless draw in the Venezuelan city of San Cristobal.

–IANS

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