Argentina minus Lionel Messi slump to shock defeat in Bolivia
Bolivia 2 - 0 Argentina

Argentina minus Lionel Messi slump to shock defeat in Bolivia

28/03/2017

Bolivia took advantage of Lionel Messi's absence to claim a comfortable 2-0 victory, harming Argentina's hopes of World Cup qualification in La Paz on Tuesday.

Argentina, who went into the match on the back of a two-match winning run in the South America group, started without the suspended Messi after the Barcelona playmaker was banned for four international matches for abusing an assistant referee during last Thursday's tie with Chile.

The 29-year-old Barcelona forward will also miss Argentina's next three World Cup qualifiers -- away to Uruguay in August, at home to Venezuela the following month and at home to Peru in October -- meaning he will only be able to return for their final qualifying match away to Ecuador, although they will appeal against the ruling.

Without Messi, the Albiceleste took a while to get going and they almost fell behind as early as the fifth minute, but Pablo Escobar's touch let him down when alone at the far post after a mistake from Ramiro Funes Mori, while Raul Castro tested visiting goalkeeper Sergio Romero with a long-range strike midway through the first half.

Angel Di Maria was unfortunate not to put away Argentina's first real chance after 27 minutes but the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder fired his well-struck effort just wide before the same man collected Angel Correa's terrific ball moments later but failed to get past home stopper Carlos Lampe.

Just after the half-hour mark, Bolivia took the lead when Juan Carlos Arce scored a stunning header from Escobar's long-range cross as he beat defender Facundo Roncaglia in the centre of the penalty box with his back to the goal.

The home side doubled their lead seven minutes after the break as Jorge Flores cut the ball back and picked out Marcelo Martins, who was waiting in the area and made no mistake as he tapped home from the edge of the six-yard box to double his side's lead.

Visiting coach Edgardo Bauza brought on Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero to add some firepower up front four minutes later as they looked to get something from the game.

The away side won a free kick just outside the 18-yard box after 60 minutes but Ever Banega's effort was well cleared by the Bolivian defence, while at the other end Roncaglia denied Martins his second of the night with a vital block.

Di Maria set up Lucas Pratto with two great crosses as the half wore on and the Sao Paulo striker slid in to meet the the ball but came up inches short for the first one before heading well wide with a disappointing miss with the second as Argentina fought to reduce the deficit, but the home side held on for maximum points.

The result leaves the visitors third but under pressure from Colombia, Ecuador and Chile, with only the top four countries qualifying and the fifth advancing to a playoff, while Bolivia sit 12 points further back in ninth with four matches remaining.

Related news

World Cup finals draw pots now known after completion of qualifying

World Cup finals draw pots now known after completion of qualifying

The seedings for the 2018 World Cup finals draw can now be confirmed after Peru booked the 32nd and last place at next summer's tournament in Russia.

Gian Piero Ventura sacked by Italy following World Cup failure

Gian Piero Ventura sacked by Italy following World Cup failure

Gian Piero Ventura has been sacked as coach of Italy after failing to guide them to next summer's World Cup, the Italian Football Federation has announced.

Denmark reach World Cup, doom Ireland after Eriksen's hat trick

Denmark reach World Cup, doom Ireland after Eriksen's hat trick

Christian Eriksen's hat trick helped Denmark qualify for the 2018 World Cup with a 5-1 win over Republic of Ireland, whose hopes ended in the UEFA playoffs once more.

Italy eliminated as resilient Sweden earn draw

Italy eliminated as resilient Sweden earn draw

Italy have failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958, as Sweden secured their spot in Russia after the teams' 0-0 draw on Monday in Milan.

Croatia cruise into World Cup finals after second-leg draw vs. Greece

Croatia cruise into World Cup finals after second-leg draw vs. Greece

Croatia comfortably negotiated the second leg of their play-off tie against Greece with a goalless draw sealing their place at next summer's World Cup.

Northern Ireland's finals dream crushed by Switzerland in dramatic ending

Northern Ireland's finals dream crushed by Switzerland in dramatic ending

Northern Ireland saw their World Cup dream die in Basel on Sunday, though it was a controversial penalty three days earlier that ultimately sent Switzerland through to Russia.

Ireland hold Denmark to first leg stalemate

Ireland hold Denmark to first leg stalemate

Darren Randolph was the Republic of Ireland's hero as they returned from Denmark with a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw after surviving a stern test of their World Cup credentials.

Johansson strikes as Sweden take upper hand against Italy

Johansson strikes as Sweden take upper hand against Italy

Italy must beat Sweden at San Siro on Monday to have any hope of qualifying for the World Cup in Russia after Jakob Johansson condemned the Azzurri to a 1-0 first-leg defeat in Stockholm.

Croatia open three-goal lead over Greece after playoff first leg

Croatia open three-goal lead over Greece after playoff first leg

Croatia put one foot toward a place in Russia next year with a 4-1 win over Greece in the first leg of their World Cup qualifying playoff on Thursday.

RELATED NEWS

World Cup finals draw pots now known after completion of qualifying
World Cup 2018 news

World Cup finals draw pots now known after completion of qualifying

The seedings for the 2018 World Cup finals draw can now be confirmed after Peru booked the 32nd and last place at next summer's tournament in Russia.

Gian Piero Ventura sacked by Italy following World Cup failure
Italy news

Gian Piero Ventura sacked by Italy following World Cup failure

Gian Piero Ventura has been sacked as coach of Italy after failing to guide them to next summer's World Cup, the Italian Football Federation has announced.

Denmark reach World Cup, doom Ireland after Eriksen's hat trick
Republic of Ireland 1 - 5 Denmark

Denmark reach World Cup, doom Ireland after Eriksen's hat trick

Christian Eriksen's hat trick helped Denmark qualify for the 2018 World Cup with a 5-1 win over Republic of Ireland, whose hopes ended in the UEFA playoffs once more.

Italy eliminated as resilient Sweden earn draw
Italy 0 - 0 Sweden

Italy eliminated as resilient Sweden earn draw

Italy have failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958, as Sweden secured their spot in Russia after the teams' 0-0 draw on Monday in Milan.

Croatia cruise into World Cup finals after second-leg draw vs. Greece
Greece 0 - 0 Croatia

Croatia cruise into World Cup finals after second-leg draw vs. Greece

Croatia comfortably negotiated the second leg of their play-off tie against Greece with a goalless draw sealing their place at next summer's World Cup.

Northern Ireland's finals dream crushed by Switzerland in dramatic ending
Switzerland 0 - 0 Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's finals dream crushed by Switzerland in dramatic ending

Northern Ireland saw their World Cup dream die in Basel on Sunday, though it was a controversial penalty three days earlier that ultimately sent Switzerland through to Russia.

Ireland hold Denmark to first leg stalemate
Denmark 0 - 0 Republic of Ireland

Ireland hold Denmark to first leg stalemate

Darren Randolph was the Republic of Ireland's hero as they returned from Denmark with a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw after surviving a stern test of their World Cup credentials.

Johansson strikes as Sweden take upper hand against Italy
Sweden 1 - 0 Italy

Johansson strikes as Sweden take upper hand against Italy

Italy must beat Sweden at San Siro on Monday to have any hope of qualifying for the World Cup in Russia after Jakob Johansson condemned the Azzurri to a 1-0 first-leg defeat in Stockholm.

Croatia open three-goal lead over Greece after playoff first leg
Croatia 4 - 1 Greece

Croatia open three-goal lead over Greece after playoff first leg

Croatia put one foot toward a place in Russia next year with a 4-1 win over Greece in the first leg of their World Cup qualifying playoff on Thursday.

17/01/2018
01:00 | Katerina Siniakova v Elina Svitolina - WTA Australian Open
01:00 | Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Kateryna Bondarenko - WTA Australian Open
02:00 | ATP Australian Open
02:00 | WTA Australian Open
02:30 | Jana Fett v Caroline Wozniacki - WTA Australian Open
02:30 | Belinda Bencic v Luksika Kumkhum - WTA Australian Open
02:30 | Denis Shapovalov v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - ATP Australian Open
04:00 | Joao Sousa v Marin Cilic - ATP Australian Open
04:00 | Rafa Nadal v Leonardo Mayer - ATP Australian Open
05:00 | Jelena Ostapenko v Duan Yingying - WTA Australian Open
08:45 | Nick Kyrgios v Viktor Troicki - ATP Australian Open
09:00 | Grigor Dimitrov v Mackenzie McDonald - ATP Australian Open
09:00 | Alize Cornet v Julia Goerges - WTA Australian Open
11:30 | Daria Gavrilova v Elise Mertens - WTA Australian Open
19:00 | Guingamp - Olympique Lyon
19:00 | Atletico Madrid - Sevilla
19:00 | Valencia - Alaves
20:45 | Chelsea - Norwich City
21:00 | Espanyol - Barcelona
21:00 | PSG - Dijon
18/01/2018
01:00 | Maria Sharapova v Anastasija Sevastova - WTA Australian Open
01:00 | Johanna Konta v Bernarda Pera - WTA Australian Open
01:00 | Caroline Garcia v Marketa Vondrousova - WTA Australian Open
01:00 | Dominic Thiem v Denis Kudla - ATP Australian Open
02:00 | ATP Australian Open
02:00 | WTA Australian Open
02:30 | Garbine Muguruza v Hsieh Su-wei - WTA Australian Open
02:30 | Tomas Berdych v Guillermo Garcia-Lopez - ATP Australian Open
03:30 | Angelique Kerber v Donna Vekic - WTA Australian Open
04:00 | Karen Khachanov v Juan Martin del Potro - ATP Australian Open
04:00 | Novak Djokovic v Gael Monfils - ATP Australian Open
05:00 | David Goffin v Julien Benneteau - ATP Australian Open
05:00 | Ekaterina Alexandrova v Madison Keys - WTA Australian Open
07:00 | Peter Gojowczyk v Alexander Zverev - ATP Australian Open
09:00 | Simona Halep v Eugenie Bouchard - WTA Australian Open
09:00 | Ashleigh Barty v Camila Giorgi - WTA Australian Open
10:30 | Roger Federer v Jan-Lennard Struff - ATP Australian Open
10:30 | Stan Wawrinka v Tennys Sandgren - ATP Australian Open
21:30 | Leganes - Real Madrid
19/01/2018
02:00 | ATP Australian Open
02:00 | WTA Australian Open
20:30 | Hertha - Borussia Dortmund
20:45 | Caen - Olympique Marseille
20/01/2018
02:00 | ATP Australian Open
02:00 | WTA Australian Open
13:00 | Espanyol - Sevilla
13:30 | Brighton - Chelsea
15:30 | Hoffenheim - Bayer Leverkusen
16:00 | Arsenal - Crystal Palace
16:00 | Burnley - Manchester United
16:00 | Leicester City - Watford
16:15 | Atletico Madrid - Girona
18:30 | Villarreal - Levante
18:30 | Manchester City - Newcastle United
20:45 | Las Palmas - Valencia
DERBY OF THE WEEK
Arsenal - Chelsea
Derby of the week
21:00
23/01/2018
Derby of the week
W 2.80    
   W 3.50
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
11-01-2018 10:30 and are subject to change
Football Live Scores
Tennis Live Scores