8 Sep 2012

Argentina win World Cup qualifier

5:27 pm on 8 September 2012

Barcelona star Lionel Messi hit the match-sealing goal with a brilliant free kick in the 63rd minute as Argentina beat visitors Paraguay 3-1 in their football World Cup qualifier at Cordoba, to go top of the South American table.

Angel Di Maria opened the scoring in the first couple of minutes before Paraguay equalised with a Jonathan Fabbro penalty, then Gonzalo Higuain reinstated Argentina's lead before half-time in front of a crowd of 57,000 at the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes.

It's Argentina's first home win over Paraguay in a World Cup qualifier in 39 years.

Elsewhere, the red-hot Colombia striker Radamel Falcao struck early and striker partner Teofilo Gutierrez scored twice as the Colombians romped to a 4-0 home win over Uruguay to put their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track.

The Colombians, playing at their favourite home ground, the Metropolitano in hot Barranquilla on the Caribbean coast, have 10 points from six matches in the South American group.

Uruguay, who fell to their first defeat in six qualifiers, have 11 points, two behind leaders Argentina and one behind second-placed Chile.