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Argentina seal World Cup spot

Lionel Messi scored twice from the spot as Argentina secured their place at next year's World Cup with a 5-2 thrashing of Paraguay in Asuncion.

Last Updated: 11/09/13 at 12:23 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Scored two penalties for Argentina to help seal a World Cup place.

Lionel Messi: Scored two penalties for Argentina to help seal a World Cup place.

The Barcelona striker gave Alejandro Sabella's side a 12th minute lead only for Jose Nunez to bring Paraguay level six minutes later courtesy of a fumble by Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero then restored Argentina's advantage just after the half hour with a smart left-footed effort into the bottom corner.

Angel Di Maria's strike five minutes into the second half and another Messi penalty two minutes later then appeared to put the result beyond doubt.

Roque Santa Cruz gave Paraguay a late consolation on 86 minutes before a Maxi Rodriguez goal in injury time restored the visitors' three goal advantage.

The convincing result moves Argentina three points clear of Colombia at the top of the CONMEBOL qualifying group and assures them of a top-four place, meaning a spot at next year's World Cup is also now secure.

Colombia, meanwhile, missed their chance to seal a World Cup spot after losing 2-0 to Uruguay in Montevideo.

Jose Pekerman's side only needed a point to join Argentina in confirming a top-four place and they looked like achieving that aim for long periods of the match.

However, Edinson Cavani's 76th minute header edged Uruguay in front before Christian Stuani sealed the win four minutes later.

The defeat means Colombia will need a result from their final two games against Chile and Paraguay in order to book their place at Brazil 2014.

The three points for Uruguay lifts them into fifth place, which would secure a play-off spot against Jordan.

They are only separated from fourth-placed Ecuador on goal difference after Reinaldo Rueda's side could only draw 1-1 with bottom-placed Bolivia in La Paz.

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W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

I

believe this is because for sepp Christmas is a 7 day feast finishing on the 25th

hiya
Blatter calls for early final

F

alcao really needs to shine now. Apparently according to the stats, he scores more when played up front alone. I wonder if Van Gaal will actually apply a formation to get the best out of him though.

anthracyte
Van Persie lay-off expected

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