CONMEBOL WCQ Rewind: VAR calls prove decisive in Argentina-Paraguay, Bolivia-Ecuador

CONMEBOL WCQ Rewind: VAR calls prove decisive in Argentina-Paraguay, Bolivia-Ecuador

International Soccer

CONMEBOL WCQ Rewind: VAR calls prove decisive in Argentina-Paraguay, Bolivia-Ecuador

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Matchday 3 of CONMEBOL’s World Cup Qualifiers began on Thursday, and once again VAR was a major talking point.

Paraguay held Argentina to a 1-1 draw at La Bombonera in Buenos Aires, but only after the use of video replay negated a go-ahead goal from Lionel Messi. La albiceleste thought it had taken a 2-1 lead after Messi finished off a great team sequence in the 57th minute, but the strike was disallowed because of a foul that happened well before when the host side initially won possession of the ball.

The call combined with Paraguay’s robust defense helped to give La albirroja a road point in a match in which it led. Angel Romero scored from the spot in the 21st minute after former Atlanta United playmaker Miguel Almiron was fouled in the penalty area, but Argentina’s Nicolas Gonzalez canceled the goal out with a thumping header four minutes before halftime.

Earlier in the day, another big VAR call saw Ecuador leave the infamous La Paz altitude with a rollercoaster 3-2 victory. La Tricolor won its first away qualifier in nine attempts via a late penalty from former FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo after video replay determined there was a handball in the penalty area.

Bolivia had initially taken the lead at Estadio Olimpico Hernan Siles through Juan Carlos Arce’s low finish in the 37th minute, but second-half goals from Beder Caicedo and Angel Mena that came 10 minutes apart flipped the script and put Ecuador ahead.

La Verde equalized shortly thereafter through a nodded effort from striker Marcelo Martins Moreno, but the video replay led to Gruezo’s 88th-minute spot kick that gave Ecuador the three points.

Matchday 3 in South America will conclude on Friday with Colombia taking on Uruguay, Peru facing Chile, and Brazil battling Venezuela.

Here is the updated CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying table:

Standings

1. Argentina……….7 pts……….+2 GD
2. Brazil……….6 pts……….+7 GD
3. Ecuador……….6 pts……….+2 GD
4. Paraguay……….5 pts………. +1 GD
5. Colombia……….4 pts……….+3 GD
6. Uruguay……….3 pts……….-1 GD
7. Chile……….1 pt……….-1 GD
8. Peru………. 1 pt……….-2 GD
9. Venezuela……….0 pts……….-4 GD
10. Bolivia……….0 pts……….-7 GD

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