With a hard-fought 1-0 victory in Uruguay, Argentina came closer to securing a spot in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, and it did not even need superstar Lionel Messi to do it this time.
The Albiceleste, who are in second place in the CONMEBOL qualifiers with 28 points, scored a stunning goal through Angel Di Maria, who captained the side. Even though Uruguay had Argentina on the ropes several times, they were able to hold on for the shutout.
Messi started on the bench and came on for the final 15 minutes after missing recent matches for his club Paris Saint-Germain due to hamstring and knee problems. It was more of a warm-up for their talisman, who did not have to do much as Argentina appeared content to sit back and absorb Uruguay’s pressure.
Uruguay are left in the sixth position amid a gridlock of teams competing for fourth and fifth place.
As reported, only the top four teams receive direct qualification tickets to Qatar 2022 in the CONMEBOL qualification system. The fifth-place team qualifies to compete in a playoff series to earn their spot.
Uruguay had their chances to get on the scoresheet but could not seize them. In the first half, Atletico Madrid forward Luis Suarez struck the post, Matias Vecino came close, and Agustin Alvarez had two good chances near the conclusion of the game, but a depleted Uruguay team could not just find a way to score.