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Wednesday, Aug 05th

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Guangzhou Evergrande midfielder Paulinho bagged a hat-trick as Brazil edged closer to qualifying for next year's football World Cup with a 4-1 victory over Uruguay. Barcelona forward Neymar also netted for the five-time World Cup winners while Edinson Cavani was on the scoresheet for the hosts on Thursday.

It was Brazil's seventh straight win under coach Tite, who remains unbeaten since taking over from Dunga after the team's group-stage elimination from last year's Copa America.

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Argentina and Uruguay have reaffirmed their interest in hosting the 2030 FIFA World Cup, which will mark the 100-year anniversary of football's showpiece tournament.

Argentinian President Mauricio Macri and Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez made the announcement after bilateral talks covering a wide-range of subjects here on Monday.

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Colombian defender Yerry Mina scored a last-minute header, salvaging a 2-2 tie for his team against Uruguay in the World Cup football qualifier match at the Metropolitano Stadium here.

Jose Pekerman's squad opened the scoring in the 15th minute on Tuesday with a header by midfielder Abel Aguilar, but the Uruguayans evened things up in the 27th minute with a header of their own by Cristian "Cebolla" Rodriguez.

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Superstar Lionel Messi marked his return to the international fold by edging Argentina past Uruguay and to the top of the table in South American qualifiers for the 2018 football World Cup.

Despite their defeat on Thursday, the Uruguayans head the pack as one of the three teams that lie neck and neck in the remaining automatic qualification places, just a point behind the leaders.

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Argentina's national football team, with the return of Lionel Messi as skipper in the starting line-up and Edgardo Bauza's debut as coach, will welcome Uruguay on Thursday in the seventh match of the World Cup 2018 Russia qualifiers. The match will be played at 20:30 local time (23:30 GMT) in the Malvinas Argentinas Stadium in the province of Mendoza, 1,068 km west of Buenos Aires.

Messi, who had previously announced his retirement from international arena after Argentina lost to Chile on penalties during the final of the 2016 Centennial Copa America tournament, finally went back on his decision and will captain Thursday's team.

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Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi cannot be expected to resolve all of Argentina' s problems on the football pitch, Albiceleste coach Edgardo Bauza has said.

Speaking on Tuesday, ahead of Argentina's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Uruguay in Mendoza on Thursday, Bauza suggested the opposition's fixation with the Barcelona No. 10 would create opportunities for his teammates.

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Uruguay's footballers could go on strike ahead of the national team's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Paraguay, according to reports in the local media.

According to Uruguayan newspaper El Pais on Tuesday, several players have threatened to boycott the matches if the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) does not sign a multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with sportswear manufacturer Nike.

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