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Messi out of Argentina World Cup Qualifier

Lionel Messi will miss Argentina’s 2018 World Cup qualifier in Venezuela on Tuesday after injuring his groin in Thursday’s 1-0 victory over Uruguay.

The Barcelona forward scored on his return from international retirement to send Argentina top of the South America qualifying group.

Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza said: “He won’t be able to play. We can’t take any risks. We must take care of him.”

After seven of the 18 qualifying games Argentina lead Uruguay, Colombia and Ecuador with 14 points, one point ahead of four other teams who are tied on 12 points.

A top-four finish will secure automatic qualification for Russia 2018, with the fifth-placed side facing a two-legged play-off against a team from Oceania – New Zealand, New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands or Tahiti.

Elsewhere,

Bolivia   2 – 0 Peru

Colombia 2 – 0 Venezuela

Paraguay  2 – 1 Chile

SOUTH AMERICAN WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

P                           GD                           PTS

1 Argentina                                 7                             +3                             14

2 Uruguay                                   7                             +7                             13

3 Colombia                                  7                              +3                            13

4 Ecuador                                    7                              +2                            13

5  Brazil                                        7                             +6                             12

6 Paraguay                                    7                              +2                             12

 

 

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