The very first South American qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia were played on Thursday night, with three FC Barcelona players seeing action. Barça goalkeeper Claudio Bravo captained the Chile national team to a 2–0 victory over defender DaniAlves and Brazil, while another blaugrana player, JavierMascherano, could do little to help Argentina avoid an unanticipated defeat to Ecuador.
Current South American champions Chile started off on the right foot with a shutout in Santiago. Ex-Barcelona striker AlexisSánchez scored one of Chile's goals en route to knocking off Brazil. The two Barça players, Bravo and Alves, were the only ones from either side to play all 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, in Buenos Aires, the Argentina national team, coached by former Barça manager TataMartino, fell to an upset loss to Ecuador, which scored in both the 81st and 82nd minutes to shock the Albiceleste on their home turf. Barça's midfielder Javier Mascherano played all 90 minutes as well.