Despite playing without Lionel Messi, Argentina defeated Bolivia 3-0 in their second match of the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign. Under the guidance of coach Lionel Scaloni, they have now won both their qualifying matches, thanks to their strong midfield.
Meanwhile, Brazil also reached six points in the South American standings, joining Argentina at the top after securing a last-minute 1-0 win over Peru.
Uruguay had the opportunity to join the leaders but lost 2-1 to Ecuador. Ecuador previously had a -3 point disadvantage due to FIFA sanctions related to birth information. But with this win, they have moved back to zero points.
The next World Cup will feature a 48-team format, granting direct entry to the top six South American teams. The seventh-place team will compete in an intercontinental playoff for a spot.
As for the current standings, Colombia are third with four points following a goalless draw with Chile. Uruguay and Venezuela each have three points, while Paraguay, Peru, and Chile have a point each.
Read More: Italy keep Euro Championship hopes alive with 2-1 win over Ukraine; Spain get three points
Argentina dominated the match in the first half, scoring two goals, maintaining their pace in the second half, and adding a third near the end. A red card for Bolivia’s Roberto Fernandez in the 39th minute made the task easier for Argentina.
Enzo Fernandez opened the scoring in the 31st minute, with Nicolas Tagliafico scoring the second goal in the 42nd minute. Nico Gonzalez sealed Argentina’s victory with a goal in the 83rd minute.
Brazil, despite a 5-1 win over Bolivia earlier, struggled in their match against Peru. Two of their first-half goals were disallowed by VAR, and Peru’s strong defensive performance frustrated them. However, Brazil’s Marquinhos scored a late goal from a Neymar corner kick in the 90th minute.
Ecuador managed to erase their points deficit in the competition standings with a goal in each half from defender Felix Torres. Uruguay took the lead in the 38th minute with a goal from Agustin Canobbio, but Torres levelled with a header in first-half stoppage time. Torres scored his second goal in the 61st minute, securing the win for Ecuador.
In another match, Venezuela defeated Paraguay 1-0 with a late goal from the penalty spot by Salomon Rondon, his 40th goal for the national team.