Uruguay stuns Brazil, Messi shines for Argentina in World Cup qualifiers


Uruguay handed Brazil its first defeat in the CONMEBOL 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign, while Argentina maintained its perfect record with a win over Peru. Here are the highlights from the fourth round of matches in South America.


Núñez and Araújo lead Uruguay to victory over Brazil

Uruguay produced a stunning performance to beat Brazil 2-0 at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo. The hosts took the lead in the 15th minute when Ronald Araújo headed in a corner from Nicolás de la Cruz. Brazil tried to respond, but Uruguay’s defense was well organized and denied any clear chances for the visitors.

The second half saw more drama, as Brazil’s star forward Neymar had to be stretchered off in tears after suffering an ankle injury in the 53rd minute. Uruguay capitalized on Brazil’s misfortune and doubled their lead in the 66th minute, when Darwin Núñez scored a brilliant solo goal, dribbling past three defenders and slotting the ball past Ederson.

Uruguay held on to the win, which lifted them to second place in the standings with seven points, five behind leaders Argentina. Brazil, meanwhile, dropped to third place with the same points but an inferior goal difference.

Messi scores twice as Argentina beats Peru

Argentina continued its flawless start to the qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win over Peru in Lima. The hero of the night was Lionel Messi, who scored both goals and became the outright all-time top scorer in South American World Cup qualifying with 25 goals.

Messi opened the scoring in the 12th minute when he curled a free kick into the top corner from 25 yards out. He doubled his tally in the 64th minute when he finished off a counterattack with a low shot that beat Pedro Gallese.

Peru had some chances to reduce the gap, but Argentina’s goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez was alert and made some crucial saves. Argentina secured its fourth consecutive win, which put them on top of the table with 12 points. Peru, on the other hand, remained at the bottom with only one point.

Soteldo inspires Venezuela to thrash Chile

Venezuela recorded its first win of the qualifying campaign with a convincing 3-0 victory over Chile in Caracas. The star of the show was Yeferson Soteldo, who scored one goal and assisted another in a dazzling display.

Soteldo opened the scoring in the 19th minute when he latched on to a through ball from Tomás Rincón and chipped the ball over the advancing Claudio Bravo. He then turned provider in the 38th minute, when he set up Salomón Rondón for a simple tap-in. Darwin Machís completed the rout in the 81st minute when he fired a low shot past Bravo from the edge of the box.

Venezuela’s win lifted them to fourth place in the standings with seven points, while Chile slipped to sixth place with four points.

Paraguay edges out Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia draw

In the other two matches of the round, Paraguay beat Bolivia 1-0 in Asunción, while Ecuador and Colombia played out a goalless draw in Quito.

Paraguay’s lone goal came from substitute Antonio Sanabria, who scored with his first touch of the ball in the 68th minute, after a cross from Miguel Almirón. Bolivia had a chance to equalize in the 90th minute, but Marcelo Martins missed a penalty.

Ecuador and Colombia had a lively encounter, but neither side could find the back of the net. Colombia’s Luis Díaz had a goal disallowed for offside and a penalty saved by Moisés Ramírez, while Ecuador’s Enner Valencia hit the post with a header.

Paraguay’s win moved them to seventh place with four points, while Bolivia remained in ninth place with zero points. Ecuador and Colombia stayed in fifth and eighth place respectively, with four and six points each.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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