… 7. Argentina
I’m going to go ahead and guess that this is not how you envisioned the table after the first round of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers took place last night. Take a screenshot, frame it, do what you gotta do, because this might be a once in a lifetime development.
WTF happened in South American fútbol yesterday? Well, despite the absences of some of our favorite cracks – James, Luisito Suárez, and Edinson Cavani – Colombia and Uruguay pulled off relatively routine 2-0 victories against Peru and Bolivia. For los Cafeteros, Teó Gutiérrez netted the first in the 26th followed by a stoppage time header from Edwin Cardona. Uruguay’s defense was its best attack, with Martín Cáceres scoring in the 10th. Not to mention colchonero legend and country captain Diego Godín sealing the deal (you guessed it, with his head) in the 69th.
This was Uruguay’s first-ever away victory in 10 World Cup qualifiers at Hernando Siles stadium in La Paz, which sits 3,650 meters above sea level.
Paraguay and Venezuela were also in action, with the former pulling off a surprise 1-0 victory thanks to a goal from Derlis González, the first time the Albirroja have started a qualifying campaign with a victory in 26 years.
All three of these games were great, sure, but it’s the Argentina-Ecuador and Chile-Brazil games that really blew our minds.
A couple of days ago, I said that it was impossible to bet against Argentina, even if they were making do without Messi. Oh how I was wrong. Despite maintaining a 12-8 shot advantage, the Albiceleste were stunned at home thanks to back-to-back goals from Frickson Erazo and Felipe Caicedo in the 80th and 81st. Sometimes, fútbol is a really beautiful, wonderful, amazing thing.
Apparently, Brazil is the only other team to have defeated Argentina in a home World Cup qualifier this millennium. Are you kidding me?
Kun Agüero was forced to leave the game in the 22nd after suffering what was later classified as a muscle tear in the femoral biceps of his left leg. This makes me want to cry for various reasons, the least of which is that Agüero’s five-goal effort vs. Newcastle last Saturday led my fantasy team to epic success.
Finally, Chile stunned Brazil in spectacular fashion last night. Should we even talk about this one, or should we just show you a video of fans singing “Alexis Sánchez baby, Alexis Sánchez oooo” on a loop?
La Roja defeated last year’s World Cup hosts 2-0 thanks to a 72nd volley from Eduardo Vargas and a truly glorious one-two between Arturo Vidal and Saint Alexis in the 89th.
This was the first time that Argentina and Brazil lost on the same day since May 27, 1934. A day for the history books, fam.