CONMEBOL and CONCACAF World Cup 2014 Qualifiers: Argentina cruise to victory, Mexico held
Peru 1-0 Chile
Argentina 3-0 Venezuela
Uruguay 1-1 Paraguay
Colombia 5-0 Bolivia
Messi and Higuain turn on the style for Argentina, Colombia crush Bolivia
Lionel Messi scored a penalty and set up 2 assists for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain as Argentina brushed aside Venezuela 3-0 at home. Argentina move to 23 points from their 10 games and are top of the qualifying group, 4 points ahead of Colombia. The match was largely a one-sided affair with Argentina’s goalkeeper Sergio Romero hardly called into action.
Five different players found the back of the net as Colombia routed Bolivia 5-0. Midfielder Macnelly Torres put the hosts ahead midway through the first half. Defender Carlos Valdez, strikers Teofilo Gutierrez and Radamel Falcao, and substitute full back Pablo Armero completed the rout. Falcao’s goal was his 6th of the campaign. The win takes Colombia to 19 points and they look to be Argentina’s main competition in the race for the top spot.
Uruguay were thwarted by a late equalizer for Paraguay from substitute Edgar Benitez. Uruguay have struggled during the qualification campaign since their fine run in the last World Cup. Luis Suarez had just put his side ahead 4 minutes before the equalizer in what appeared to be a game winner at the time. However, Uruguay captain Diego Lugano’s mistake proved costly as Benitez stole in and grabbed the equalizer, beating Fernando Muslera in goal. Uruguay have 13 points from 10 games while Paraguay are still bottom of the 8 nation group with 8 points.
Honduras 2-2 Mexico
USA 1-0 Costa Rica
Jamaica 1-1 Panama
Honduras peg back Mexico, USA edge Costa Rica in snowy conditions
Honduras fought back from a 2-0 deficit to force a draw against Mexico which took them to the top of the CONCACAF standings with 4 points from two games. Mexico have 2 points from their two games ahead of the clash with USA in Mexico City on Tuesday night. Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez scored twice to put the Mexicans on top. But Carlo Costly inspired the Hondurans’ fightback with a brace of his own.
Clint Dempsey’s effort for the solitary goal of the night saw the USA beat Costa Rica 1-0 in a match played in the midst of a heavy snow storm at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. USA now have 3 points from 2 games and are second behind Honduras.