World Cup qualifying: Argentina lose 2-0 to Bolivia hours after Lionel Messi is banned

Bolivia have won just 3 of their last 14 World cup qualifies

Argentina lost 2-0 to Bolivia in World Cup qualifying, five and a half hours after captain Lionel Messi was given a four-match ban for abusing an official.

Messi was punished for using “insulting words” towards an assistant referee during Thursday’s 1-0 win over Chile.

Juan Carlos Arce and Marcelo Martins scored for Bolivia, while Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori was taken off on a stretcher for Argentina.

The result left Argentina fourth in their South America group.

With four games remaining of World Cup qualifying, Colombia climbed above Argentina and Uruguay into second as they beat Ecuador 2-0 with goals from James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado.

And Argentina could drop out of the top four automatic qualifying spots for Russia 2018 if Chile beat Venezuela on Tuesday night, with Uruguay also in action against Peru and leaders Brazil facing Paraguay.
Podcast: ‘Argentina will struggle to qualify without Messi’
The team that finishes fifth advances to an inter-confederation play-off featuring one side each from Asia, Concacaf and Oceania.

Funes Mori was taken off with a knee injury just four days after Everton team-mate Seamus Coleman broke his leg playing for the Republic of Ireland.

Messi, meanwhile, will miss games against Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela later this year.

More international reports

France 0-2 Spain
Netherlands 1-2 Italy
Portugal 2-3 Sweden
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Iceland
Russia 3-3 Belgium

Brazil 3 – 0 Paraguay

Trinidad T. 0 – 1 Mexico

Chile 3 – 1 Venezuela

Ecuador 0 – 2 Colombia

Honduras 1 – 1 Costa Rica


Source: BBC