Bolivia 2-0 Argentina
28 March 2017
Estadio Hernando Siles, La Paz
World Cup qualifier
Scorers: Arce, Moreno
Bolivia are the new unofficial football world champions following this fairly comfortable win over Argentina in a World Cup qualifier in La Paz. Juan Carlos Arce and Marcelo Martins Moreno scored the goals in Bolivia’s sixth all-time UFWC title match win, and their first since 1994. Argentina, missing the suspended Lionel Messi, struggled with the opposition and the altitude, and slip down the CONMEBOL WC qualification table.
Mauricio Soria’s Bolivia started with a front three of Arce, Moreno and Pablo Escobar (not that one). Argentina, who lost Messi at very short notice following his punishment for swearing at a linesman in the previous game, played Angel Correa off central striker Lucas Pratto.
Arce scored the first goal with a back header just after the half-hour mark, with Sergio Romero well beaten. Then Argentina’s line-up was further depleted when Ramiro Mori was stretchered off the field with an injury.
Seven minutes into the second half, Moreno made it 2-0 to Bolivia, firing a shot past keeper Romero. Argentina brought on Sergio Aguero, and Pratto should have scored with a header, but it was too little too late.
Bolivia, Los Altiplanicos, move up to 29th in the all-time UFWC rankings. They remain in ninth place in the CONMEBOL qualification table, with only a slim mathematical chance of qualification. However, they will get to defend the UFWC title.
The CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers resume on 31 August, with Bolivia travelling to Peru. That will be the next UFWC title match.
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