Uruguay won 2-0 against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Thursday in South America qualifying for the 2026 World Cup, inflicting their first defeat on the Albiceleste since their world title.
In these qualifiers, the Argentines were until then undefeated with 12 points in 4 days. However, they remain in the lead in qualifying, even if Uruguay are getting closer thanks to their success today (2nd, 10 pts).
FC Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo scored the first goal for Marcelo Bielsa's men shortly before the break (41st), before Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez sealed the victory for his team at the end of the game (87th). The Uruguayans presented themselves against the Argentines on the strength of their 2-0 victory against Brazil on the previous day and with a similar recipe: aggression and constant pressing, Bielsa's trademark.
This system largely disrupted the Argentines' ball circulation and posed risks on the counterattack. By dint of desire, Uruguay and Araujo forced the lock, putting an end to goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez's 752-minute invincibility. He had not conceded a goal since that of Frenchman Kylian Mbappé in the final of the 2022 World Cup.
Clumsy at times, Nunez doubled the lead after a lightning counter-attack, well served by De la Cruz. The realism of Bielsa's players, with two goals from as many shots on target, highlighted the sterile possession of the Albiceleste, who had few clear chances to get their teeth into in the face of the intensity Uruguayan.
The entries of Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria changed nothing, even if the first put Sergio Rochet to work late in the match, and the second narrowly missed the target with a cross shot from the right. The Golden Ball Messi hit the bar with a free kick.
In the next meeting on Tuesday, Uruguay host Bolivia, while a South American clasico in Brazil looms for world champions Argentina. The first six in the AmSud qualifiers will earn their ticket to the 2026 World Cup, while the seventh will go to the repechage.