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World Cup Qualifying: Argentina Overpower Bolivia Without Messi



World Cup qualifying: Argentina Overpower Bolivia Without Messi

Argentina have won six successive matches since their penalty shootout win over France in the World Cup final in December
Argentina rested Lionel Messi but still beat Bolivia 3-0 to make it two wins from two in World Cup qualifying.

Chelsea’s Enzo Fernandez opened the scoring, with further strikes from Nicolas Tagliafico and Nicolas Gonzalez sealing victory in La Paz.

Messi watched Argentina’s victory from the bench but was not listed among the substitutes having complained of tiredness after scoring the only goal in Wednesday’s win against Ecuador.

“Leo was not ready to play,” said boss Lionel Scaloni after the game. “He tried to recover, but he did not feel comfortable.”

Former Manchester United midfielder Angel di Maria captained the side in Messi’s absence and provided the cross for Fernandez to stroke home a first-half opener.

Bolivia forward Roberto Fernandez was then sent off for a high challenge on Cristian Romero, before Tagliafico headed home Di Maria’s free-kick before the break.

Julian Alvarez hit the post in the second half as the world champions continued to dominate, before Gonzalez wrapped up the win with a left-footed drive late on


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