(EFE) – Argentina and Paraguay drew 1-1 at La Bombonera, in a match on the third day of the South American Qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Óscar Romero, from a penalty in the 21st minute, advanced the ‘Albirroja’, while Nicolás González in the 40th established the final tie.
With this result, both teams remain undefeated and, while Argentina is provisionally first with 7 points, Paraguay climbs to fourth place with 5 points and is located behind Ecuador, which in the first match of this day beat Bolivia 3-2 in peace.
In the first half, Paraguay had a better start with Ángel Romero and Miguel Almirón as a soccer society that in speed managed to overcome the resistance of a local defense that had a hard time accommodating.
The visit did not cease in its intensity and in a new deep ball for Almirón in the 19th minute, he faced with speed the central Lucas Martínez Quarta, who knocked him down in the area so that the Brazilian referee Raphael Claus did not hesitate to whistle a penalty.
The execution was left for Ángel Romero who, without getting nervous, defined to the left of an Armani that was played to the right to determine the opening of the score in the 21st minute.
Argentina was slow to react and in the 29th minute a hard blow from Ángel Romero with his knees on the back of Exequiel Palacios determined the departure of the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder and the entry of Giovani Lo Celso.
The tie came in the 40th minute with a corner kick from the left vertex of the Argentine attack carried out perfectly by Lo Celso, who found an accurate header from Nicolás González in anticipation of Robert Rojas.
The multifunctional of the German Stuttgart was the last to be ratified as a starter for this match due to a muscular discomfort that prevented him from playing Nicolás Tagliafico.
At the beginning of the second stage, Lautaro Martínez failed to convert a ball rained between the Paraguayan centrals into a goal and his shot went just wide.
In the 54th minute a cross by Ángel Romero in the Argentine area was cleared by Lucas Martínez Quarta and the ball hit Nicolás Otamendi’s arm for the protest of almost all the Albirroja players, but that the referee, with the help of the VAR , he understood that it was not a maximum penalty.
Three minutes later, a team play ended with the assistance of Lo Celso so that Messi with an exquisite definition put Argentina ahead, but Claus, after verifying the VAR, annulled the goal due to an infraction by González at the start of the play.
Argentina continued with territorial dominance and in the 65th minute a cross by Ángel Di María found a header from Lautaro Martínez that was controlled by Anthony Silva.
It was Martínez himself who three minutes later received a pass from Messi with his back to the goal and took a half-round shot that was controlled by Silva again.
The locals did not give up their dominance and in the 71st minute Messi had a powerful free kick that sought the upper left corner of the Paraguayan goal, but Silva managed a clearance to a changed hand.
Paraguay reacted in the 78th minute with a corner free kick from Ángel Romero that found a good reaction from Franco Armani to send the ball over the crossbar.
The ‘Albirroja’ was delayed with criteria and order to defend the tie and complicated the local offensive.
On the fourth day of the road to the Qatar 2022 World Cup, next Tuesday, Argentina will visit Peru in Lima, while Paraguay will host Bolivia in Asunción.