Argentina defeats Colombia in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier
Brazil and Argentina have already qualified, and Ecuador's 24 points ensure that they will be joining them soon
Argentina trounced a lacklustre Colombia 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, extending their unbeaten streak to 29 games. After 29 minutes, Lautaro Martinez scored the game's sole goal, taking advantage of sloppy defending to blast home from inside the penalty area.
The top four teams in the South American region qualify automatically for Qatar, while the fifth-placed team faces an Asian team in a playoff. Brazil and Argentina have already qualified, and Ecuador's 24 points ensure that they will be joining them soon.
Colombia is now in seventh place in the 10-team standings with 17 points, five points behind Uruguay, two points behind Chile, and three points behind Peru, who might improve their position even more if they beat Ecuador later on Tuesday.
The match pitted a home squad that had not conceded a goal in their previous four home matches against a Colombian team that had failed to score in their previous six qualifiers. Both runs were extended in a game that Argentina dominated without ever appearing to be in overdrive.
Martinez and Angel Di Maria took over the attacking duties in the absence of Lionel Messi, who was rested after a previous match against COVID-19. Di Maria's long-range shooting was a threat throughout the game, causing problems for Colombia's backup goalkeeper Camilo Vargas.
Colombia's greatest chance came in stoppage time in the first half, when Luis Diaz's strike was deflected off the line. Chile defeated Bolivia 3-2 at home earlier in the night, while Uruguay defeated Venezuela 4-1 in Montevideo.
Later on Tuesday, Brazil will face Paraguay and Peru will face Ecuador.
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