The Worlds Favourite Playground

Friday, Sep 17th

Last update:06:27:22 AM GMT

You are here: Football FIFA World Cup World Cup Qualifiers: Messi, Sanchez keep Argentina and Chile in the hunt

World Cup Qualifiers: Messi, Sanchez keep Argentina and Chile in the hunt

User Rating: / 0

Lionel Messi scored a goal and set up two others as Argentina brought their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track with a 3-0 victory over Colombia. Messi opened the scoring in the 10th minute at the Bicentenario stadium on Tuesday with a curling free kick that left Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina clasping at thin air.

Lucas Pratto made it 2-0 soon after when he met a pinpoint Messi cross with a header that flew in at the far post. Messi put the result beyond doubt when he dribbled into the box and picked out Angel Di Maria, who rifled his shot passed Ospina from close range.

The result saw Argentina usurp Colombia in fifth place in the South American zone qualifying standings with 19 points from 12 games. Colombia are just a point further back.

The top four teams at the end of the two-year tournament will book a spot at the 2018 World Cup in Russia while the fifth-placed side will earn a play-off berth.

alexis sanchezMeanwhile, Alexis Sanchez scored two second-half goals as Chile recovered from a goal down to beat Uruguay 3-1 in Santiago. Eduardo Vargas was also on target for the hosts after Edinson Cavani put the Celeste ahead in the 17th minute. Sanchez played almost the entire match with his thigh heavily bandaged, putting in doubt his participation in this weekend's mega clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez missed a late penalty as Uruguay tried to get back in the contest.

Chile's win takes them to 20 points, keeping them level with Ecuador, who routed Venezuela 3-0 in Quito.

Uruguay meanwhile stay in second place with 23 points, while Brazil top the group with 27 points after beating Peru 2-0 thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus and Renato Augusto.

File Photograph Copyright: Ryu Voelkel