World champion Argentina also won the second game in the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup in the USA, Canada and Mexico without superstar Lionel Messi. The Albiceleste won 3-0 (2-0) against Bolivia, coached by Argentinian Gustavo Costas, near La Paz.

The goals were scored by Enzo Fernández in the 31st minute, Nicolás Tagliafico (41st) and Nicolás González (83rd). Veteran Ángel Di Maria prepared the first two goals. Bolivia’s Roberto Fernández was sent off after a foul (39′). Messi was rested and watched the safe victory from the bench. “He didn’t feel well. We’re not taking any risks,” said national coach Lionel Scaloni.

At the start, the world champion beat Ecuador 1-0 in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires on Thursday, led by Messi, who scored with a free kick.

Brazil also recorded its second win after beating Bolivia 5-1, but had to wait until shortly before the end for the redeeming goal in the 1-0 (0-0) draw in Peru. Marquinhos headed Neymar’s corner into the goal in the 90th minute in Lima. “Nobody believed that we could score from a stationary ball at this point, but that’s part of our game too,” said the match winner afterwards.

The record world champion, who was looked after by interim coach Fernando Diniz, made many bad passes, but was also unlucky that two goals were disallowed via video evidence in the first half. After a header from Richarlison, it took seven minutes to decide.