By Milcah Tanimu
In a gritty showdown at Buenos Aires’ iconic Bombonera stadium, Uruguay delivered a statement win by defeating world champions Argentina 2-0. Goals from Ronald Araújo and Darwin Núñez in each half secured Uruguay’s victory, lifting them to second place in the World Cup qualifying standings with 10 points, just two behind leaders Argentina.
Uruguay dominated the match from start to finish, showcasing their prowess under new head coach Marcelo Bielsa. This victory marked the first time Uruguay defeated Argentina in an away World Cup qualifying match.
Lionel Messi, the star player for Argentina, acknowledged the challenge posed by Uruguay, praising their intensity and physical, fast-playing style. Messi’s streak of nine consecutive starts for Argentina with a goal came to an end, and it was the first time he failed to score in a game he started since the 2022 World Cup group stage against Poland on November 30, 2022.
Despite the loss, Messi viewed it as a valuable test for Argentina, emphasizing the need to regroup and perform at their best in the upcoming match against Brazil. With this defeat, Argentina dropped their first points in five games in the South American qualifiers and experienced their first loss since the 2022 World Cup.
In the World Cup qualifying standings, Colombia holds the third position with nine points, followed closely by Venezuela with eight points, and Brazil in fifth place with seven points. The competition in the South American qualifiers remains intense, setting the stage for more thrilling encounters.