Messi-less Argentina beat Bolivia 3-0 in FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier
Argentina expected a struggle in the altitude of La Paz. The World Cup champion’s climb appeared even steeper with Lionel Messi out of the lineup.
Argentina still beat Bolivia 3-0 on Tuesday in its second match of the qualifying campaign for the 2026 World Cup.
It’s now two for two in qualifiers for coach Lionel Scaloni’s team, which was led by veteran ngel Di Mara and a strong midfield.
Uruguay had the chance to join Argentina atop the standings table, but lost 2-1 at Ecuador. The Ecuadorians now have moved back to zero; they started the tournament at -3 after having three points deducted by FIFA for the falsification of birth information of defender Byron Castillo, who is of Colombian origin.
Brazil, which also won its opening game, was playing Peru later Tuesday.
The 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada is expanding to a 48-team format. The top six teams in South America will secure a direct spot. The seventh-place team will contest an intercontinental playoff

By Debra Moran

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