Saturday, May 18

Martinez goal helps Argentina sink Colombia

Agency

Argentina extended their unbeaten run in football to 29 matches on Tuesday when they beat a toothless Colombia 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier.

Lautaro Martinez got the only goal in the match after 29 minutes when he took advantage of slack defending to rifle home from inside the penalty area, Reuters reported.

According to the news agency, the top four teams in the South American section qualify automatically for Qatar and the fifth-placed side goes into a playoff with a team from the Asian confederation.

Brazil and Argentina have already qualified and Ecuador’s 24 points mean they are almost certain to join them.

According to Reuters, the match brought together a home side that had not lost a goal in their last four home matches and a Colombian team that had not scored in their last six qualifiers.

Both runs were extended in a game that Argentina controlled without ever looking like they were in top gear.

The home side were without Lionel Messi, who was rested after a recent bout with COVID-19, and influential midfielder Rodrigo De Paul, but Martinez and Angel Di Maria assumed the responsibility and the attacking mantle.

Di Maria was a threat throughout with his long-range shooting, and caused problems for Colombia’s second-string keeper Camilo Vargas, according to Reuters .

Colombia’s best chance came in first half stoppage time when Luis Diaz had a shot kicked off the line.

In the night’s earlier games, Chile beat Bolivia 3-2 away and Uruguay ran out 4-1 winners over Venezuela in Montevideo.

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