It was a generally positive night for FC Barcelona’s South American stars in the second round of qualifying matches for the Russia 2018 World Cup. Claudio Bravo’s Chile and Dani Alves’ Brazil both collected three points, but Javier Mascherano’s Argentina could only draw. All three of the Barça players were on for the full 90 minutes of their respective matches.
After beating Brazil on the opening day, Chile still have a one hundred per cent record after defeating Peru 4-3 in a gripping game in Lima. Vargas and former FCB man Alexis Sánchez got the goals as the Copa America champions came from behind twice in the first half, and the same two players were on target again as Chile went on to win the match.
Brazil were able to make up for that defeat to Chile by beating Venezuela in Fortaleza. With Alves in defence, but without the suspended Neymar or the injured Rafinha, the five-time world champions won 3-1 thanks to goals from Willian (2) and Oliveira.
But it was not such a productive evening for Javier Mascherano. Argentina, who lost to Ecuador on Thursday, were held 0-0 in Paraguay. Gerardo Martino’s side was clearly missing the injured Leo Messi and Kun Agüero up front, and will be disappointed with a return of just one point so far from a possible six.
Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay lead the way in the CONMEBOL qualifying zone with two wins out of two. Without the suspended Luis Suárez, Uruguay still looked impressive as they beat Colombia 3-0 on Tuesday night.