Argentina, without Lionel Messi, left Colombia on the brink of World Cup elimination – Marca English

With a solitary goal by Lautaro Martinez, Lionel Scaloni’s team won at home
Colombia will need a miracle to play in the next World Cup after its 1-0 loss to Argentina in South American qualifying on Tuesday.
Lautaro Martinez scored the only goal of the match in Cordoba in the 29th minute after he was left alone in the penalty box by two Colombia defenders. Goalkeeper Camilo Vargas made several important saves, including three shots by veteran Ángel di Maria.
Argentina did not count on superstar Lionel Messi, who is still recovering from COVID-19. But the team – and Brazil – have already secured their places in the World Cup.
Colombia is in seventh place with 17 points. Peru, currently in fifth place with 20 points, will play later against Ecuador in Lima. If the Peruvians win, the closest rival to Colombia in a qualifying position will be Uruguay, with 22 points.
Uruguay has two games left: Peru at home and Chile away. Colombia’s last rivals are less dangerous, Bolivia at home and Venezuela away.
“This is not over, we want to go at it until the end,” Colombia coach Reinaldo Rueda said in a news conference. “Maybe we need more clarity in the midfield and also in our finishing. We miss that energy.”
South America has four direct spots in the World Cup. The fifth position will play an international playoff against an Asian team for a berth.
Third-place Ecuador could secure its direct spot with a win at Peru.
The two final rounds of South American qualifiers will be played in the end of March.
© Unidad Editorial Información Deportiva, S.L.U. Todos los derechos reservados.
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