Hello and welcome to my live blog of Uruguay vs Argentina in what should be a thrilling World Cup Qualifier between two great sides. Keep up to date with this live report, to keep up with the latest action throughout the 90 minutes.
Pre Match Facts:
Uruguay will be looking to beat Argentina for the first time since October 2013, with their last encounter resulting in a 3-0 win for the Copa America holders, just over a month ago.
Argentina – who are on a 25 game unbeaten run – currently sit second in the South American qualification group, behind Brazil – who confirmed their qualification for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, following a 1-0 victory over Colombia last night. Uruguay enter the fixture occupying sixth place in the group, level on goal difference with Colombia and Chile.
The Copa America player of the tournament – Lionel Messi – missed the last PSG two matches through a hamstring injury, and remains an injury doubt ahead of this fixture, we may see him on the substitute bench when the lineups come out.
Uruguay have failed to score in their last two meetings with Argentina and can’t solely be reliant on Luis Suarez to single handily lead them to victory.
Here is how Uruguay lineup;
Here is how Argentina lineup;
01: Venezuelan referee Alexis Herrera blows his whistle and Argentina get us underway at the Estadio Centenario.
04: What a chance wasted to take the lead for the home side! Nicolas Otamendi fails to clear his lines and after a scrappy bit of defending, the ball finds its way to Nahitan Nandez, who hits his shot straight at Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from around seven yards out. Huge let off for Argentina, who are struggling to keep hold of the ball.
07: GOAL – OH MY GOODNESS, WHAT AN UNBELIEVABLE GOAL, OUT OF NOWHERE. Paulo Dybala wins the ball and finds a pass to tonight’s captain Di Maria, he takes a touch and opens up his body, before beautifully curling the ball into the top corner of the net. Fernando Muslera saw it all the way and could still not get anywhere near the ball, what a finish from the winger. Uruguay 0-1 Argentina (Di Maria 7)
09: Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez steps over a free kick, 30 yards out from the Martinez’s goal, but the attempt is high and wide and fails to trouble the Aston Villa goalkeeper.
13: Luis Suarez looking as dangerous as ever here, he receives the ball, twists and turns with defenders around him, before his shot hits the side netting from a tight angle. A thrilling start to the game so far.
18: Paulo Dybala lunges for the ball, overstretches and catches Lucas Torreira late. The Juventus player is shown a yellow card for his challenge.
22: Argentina are beginning to keep possession of the ball alot better now and are springing some nice passes out from the back and into midfield, Uruguay aren’t closing down the ball well right now, making Argentina’s lives easier for the time being.
29: No attempts on goal for while for either side, but both teams are starting to increase the tempo of their play. More direct passes. More pressing. More running. More challenges going flying in. An intriguing contest so far as we approach the half an hour mark.
31: Off the Post! The ball bounces up to Luis Suarez outside of the Argentina penalty area and the Uruguayan danger man hits a first time volley, which bounces off of the post, back into the direction of Suarez, who volleys the rebound wide with his weaker foot. Very unlucky not to equalize. Uruguay are now having a good spell of the play.
35: Tottenham’s new signing Cristian Romero has been superb so far. Despite his efforts on goal, he has kept Luis Suarez relatively quiet and has looked very composed when playing out from the back. A great display so far by the 23 year old.
38: More crosses are coming into the box from Uruguay, leaving the Argentina defense with more to deal with. Only one side looking like scoring right now, and its the home side. Argentina must try to see out their lead until half time and then regroup, they have lacked any attacking presence and scored through their only attempt so far.
41: Luis Suarez receives the ball, 25 yards out from goal, fakes to shoot and slips a pass to Inter Milan’s Matias Vecino, who’s attempt at goal is weak and fails to seriously trouble Emiliano Martinez. A big opportunity passed up by the home side, but the non stop pressure is starting to build up.
43: Christian Romero blocks a cross out for a Uruguay corner and the resulting set piece is hit to the back post and Luis Suarez manages to connect to the ball with a speculative bicycle kick, but the effort goes wide of Martinez’s goalpost.
45+1: Half Time – A half dominated by the home side comes to an end with the away side ahead, through a marvelous goal from Angel Di Maria, who curled a shot from the edge of the box into the top corner from a tight angle. Luis Suarez has looked the most dangerous since the opener for the home side, but is yet to have any clear cut chances. Argentina must look to build on their lead as they haven’t looked convincing and are lucky to be ahead at half time. It makes you wonder if we will see Lionel Messi enter the field at some stage of this second half. Half Time: Uruguay 0-1 Argentina.
46: The home side get us back underway for the beginning of the second half, both sides make a substitution at the break as Facundo Torres replaces Brian Rodriguez for the home side and Paulo Dybala is replaced by Joaquin Correa for the leaders. We shall wait to find out whether Uruguay can finally break down the resolute Argentinian defence.
48: Martin Caceres leaps aggressively into the back of Giovani Lo Celso, and the Uruguayan defender is shown the yellow card by the referee.
50: Joaquin Piquerez is picked out, advancing down Argentina’s right hand side, before his shot is placed narrowly wide of Martinez’s right post, a huge let off for Argentina, they can not continue to live this dangerously without being punished.
52: Uruguay steal the ball, deep into Argentina’s half and Suarez goes down under the challenge of Guido Rodriguez just outside the box, but the referee waves the challenge off and play continues despite the striker’s protests. Looks to be a great decision by the referee as Suarez appeared to have gone down very lightly.
54: A couple of changes for Argentina upcoming, goalscorer Angel DI Maria is replaced by Angel Correa and Alejandro Gomez is on to replace Lautaro Martinez – who has had little to no service, nor impact on the game.
58: Alejandro Gomez uses his low center of gravity to power through the Uruguayan midfield, before placing his shot wide of Muslera’s goal. Much more positive play from Argentina.
63: Facundo Torres has his cross deflected, which begins to loop in the direction of the goal and Emiliano Martinez is forced to push the ball over his crossbar out for a corner as the deflected set piece began to look more dangerous as it approached the Argentinian goal frame. The resulting corner comes to nothing, as the poor cross was cleared by the Argentinian defence.
64: Matias Vecino is off the field and has been replaced by 20 year-old Agustin Alvarez Martinez. An attacking change for the home side as they continue to push for the equalizer they do desperately need and deserve.
67: Interesting… Many assumed that Lionel Messi would not make an appearance for Argentina tonight to allow him to rest for their next fixture against Brazil, but he has started stretching and beginning to warm up on the sidelines.
72: Martin Caceres is fouled on the edge of the area by Marcos Acuna, just wide of the 18 yard box. The set piece is cleared and Argentina immediately counter with a 2 on 1, but Juventus midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur makes a fantastic recovery challenge, putting the ball out for a corner. A huge chance wasted to seal the game for the visitors.
75: A lovely bit of play on the edge of the area from Argentina, results in Joaquin Correa getting a shot off down low, but the effort is saved by Fernando Muslera.
75: Here We Go! Giovani Lo Celso leaves the field and is replaced by none other than Lionel Messi, who takes the captains armband and gets his first minutes back from a hamstring injury since late October.
77: Rodrigo Bentancur picked up an injury during his goal saving tackle and is coming off of the pitch for Mauro Arambarri.
80: Argentina make their fifth and final change of the evening as Rodrigo de Paul is replaced by Bayer Leverkusen’s Exequiel Palacios.
81: Joaquin Correa fits through a tight space in the penalty area before Muslera gets a strong hand out to the ball and sends the ball out for a corner kick.
81: Nahitan Nandez, who missed a fantastic opportunity to put his side 1-0 up early in the game, is replaced by Fernando Gorriaran.
84: HOW HAS HE MISSED? The Uruguayan substitute Agustin Alvarez Martinez has looked ever so bright and has the perfect opportunity to put his side level, but he somehow heads over on the edge of the 6 yard box, Uruguay wont get a better opportunity to equalize for the rest of the game.
86: Heart in the mouth moment for Argentina! Luis Suarez hits a shot early, straight into the path of Emiliano Martinez, but the ball somehow goes through his legs, but the Villa keeper is able to collect the ball before it travels over the goal line, huge let off for the goalkeeper.
90: So so close yet again for the home side. Luis Suarez plays lofted ball over to the back post which is shanked into the ground and almost bounces into the path of the substitute Arambarri, who is unable to make contact with the ball. Uruaguay could easily be a couple of goals ahead, but instead find themselves behind with just minutes left.
90+1: The fourth official indicates that there will be a minimum of 4 minutes of stoppage time.
90+3: Marcos Acuna does brillianlty to dribble past two, before switching the ball to Lionel Messi, who hits the ball far over the bar fro just outside the edge of the area, you would expect better from the footballing great.
90+4: Uruaguay have one final corner. This has to be perfect delivery.
90+4: Pinball in the penalty area eventually finds its way to Emiliano Martinez, who holds the ball and that should be it.
90+4: Full Time – Absolute daylight robbery at the Estadio Centenario, where despite total dominance from the home side, a moment of magic from Angel Di Maria, was enough to seal the three points for the visitors. Huge chances wasted in the final third for the home side, could just prove costly, in the qualification group. Full Time: Uruguay 0-1 Argentina.
My Man of The Match for tonight’s game was Tottenham’s Cristian Romero, who was an absolute rock in that Argentinian back line tonight and was able to consistently distribute the ball into midfield expertly, even during spells of relentless Uruguayan pressure. He managed to complete 11 clearances against one of the world’s best strikers. A fantastic display, and at the age of 23 year-old, Argentina and Spurs fans will be licking their lips over this talent.
Thank you for keeping up with my live report of tonight’s game, I hope you enjoyed it and I will catch you again soon.