Argentina maintained their unbeaten start to the World Cup qualifying campaign with a 3-1 victory over 10-man Venezuela on Thursday night.
But Brazil continued their perfect start to qualifying with the seventh of seven wins as Everton Ribeiro scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Chile.
In his first match for his country since moving to Paris Saint-Germain, Lionel Messi struggled to seal his authority over the match in Caracas, but to no avail.
Luzaro Martنیnez opened the scoring in the first half when Venezuela were limited to 10 men for a reckless challenge against Messi due to a red card from Luis Adrian Martنیnez.
Argentina didn’t impress but the extra man said in the last quarter when Joaquin Korea and Angel Korea broke through alternatives.
Venezuela did not go home empty-handed, however, as Efferson Sotildo scored a deep “Panenka” penalty at the end of the game during the injury.
Argentina’s tour of Brazil on Sunday repeats the July Copa Am فائنلrica final, which they won 1-0, ending a 28-year wait for a major trophy.
“It’s going to be a big, important match after the final,” said Lottaro Martنیnez.
We have to rest and then return to the match as we did in the Copa America final.
Argentina was initially the better side, hitting the bar with a long-range strike from Rodrigo de Paul in the 13th minute.
But the match was decided in half an hour in favor of the visitors as Luis Adrian Martنیnez, an early substitute and on the field for less than five minutes, was tightly wrapped around Messi.
The referee marked the yellow card but after a VAR review it was upgraded directly to the red card for the Ugly Studies Up Challenge.
The match turned into a defensive vs. attack and Argentina made significant progress in the first half.
As the pressure increased, Giovanni Lu Celso slipped into a perfectly timed pass to allow Lutaru Martنیnez to go to the bottom corner.
Argentina worked hard after a break against a full defense, but substitute Joaquin Correa eventually put Messi and Lutaro Martنیnez to bed for 20 minutes with a very low strike from inside the area after good work.
Three minutes later, Lotaro Martنیnez’s snapshot was blocked by Venezuelan goalkeeper Volker Farinez but Angel Correa extended the rebound.
Messi was given a great chance to get his name on the score sheet five minutes away from time but he shot very close to the foreigners.
Substitute Alejandro Gomez then stood at Soteldo’s feet in the penalty area, saving the playmaker some of Venezuela’s pride.
Finished Brazil were second for their tour of Santiago when they saw 11 players barred from joining the club by their clubs due to corona virus quarantine restrictions.
Key English players Alison of Liverpool, Thiago Silva of Chelsea and Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City were missing, but more importantly, Neymar, who played for Paris Saint-Germain in France, was available.
And it was his shot in the 64th minute that Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo threw in the way of Everton Ribeiro to score the only goal of the game.
Ecuador was slow to strengthen its grip on third position in the standings before beating Paraguay 2-0 in Quito.
Felix Torres opened the scoring with a header two minutes ahead of time and Michael Estrada’s individual effort sealed the victory in five minutes.
Uruguay were without their two star forwards, Luis Suarez, who was injured, and Edinson Cavani, whose club Manchester United refused to release him on UK coronavirus quarantine regulations.
But the two-time former World Cup winners snatched a draw from Peru, which went up from the bottom, as Giorgione de Erascata’s 29th-minute equalizer canceled out Renato Tapia’s opener five minutes earlier.
Nahitan Nandez won for Uruguay in about seconds and 20 seconds from time to time but his brilliant post hit the outside of the post.
Fernando Sociedad was able to speak seven minutes before the scheduled time, after Roger Martنیnez’s opener for Colombia in the 69th minute, after a 1-1 draw in La Paz.