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Uruguay v Argentina Live Commentary, 12/11/2021

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Á. Di María (7)
Estadio Campeón del Siglo


That concludes our commentary of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier between Uruguay and Argentina! We hope you’ve enjoyed it!
Uruguay bring this international break to a close on Tuesday when they travel to face Bolivia. Argentina host Brazil on the same day in a clash between the top two.
Argentina book their place in the 2022 World Cup, beating Uruguay 1-0 in Montevideo thanks to Di Maria’s stunning curler after just seven minutes. Despite dominating possession, the visitors looked second-best for large periods of the game, allowing their opponents to flood forward and create a number of dangerous opportunities - testing the ever-vigilant Emiliano Martinez. Despite some close calls the Aston Villa goalkeeper held firm and ensured that Suarez and Augustin Alvarez would find no joy en-route to Argentina’s seventh clean sheet in 12 matches as Scaloni's side held on for the win. The result puts the Albiceleste six points behind Brazil while Uruguay stay in sixth.
90' + 3' Acuna centres a pass for Messi on the edge of the 18-yard box, but the captain sends his first-time effort harmlessly high of the goal.
90' + 1' The fourth official indicates four minutes will be added to the end of the 90 for stoppages.
89' Torres takes a late free-kick near the right corner flag towards the near post but Gimenez isn’t allowed to attack the ball as it’s dealt with by the defence, who win a goal-kick for their efforts.
87' Nervous moments for Emiliano Martinez as Suarez hits a volley on the swivel from just outside the penalty area. The goalkeeper looks to have it the whole way but allows the ball to squirm between his legs, before making a desperate stop on the goal-line to keep it 1-0.
85' AGUSTIN ALVAREZ SENDS IT OVER! Piquerez promptly win back possession after a disappointing corner and sends a delivery into the penalty area for Agustin Alvarez, who puts his free header narrowly above the crossbar!
83' Torres takes a Uruguay corner from the left but it’s a poor effort that allows Gomez to clear at the near post.
F. Gorriarán
N. Nández
81' Gorriaran is sent on by Tabarez, who shuffles his pack with less than 10 minutes remaining.
E. Palacios
R. De Paul
81' De Paul's match comes to an end as Palacios gets a chance to stretch his legs.
79' Both sides look to be preparing substitutions as we approach the final 10 minutes of the match.
78' Uruguay have scored five of their 14 goals in qualifying between the 75th and 90th minute (35%). In comparison, Argentina have scored their joint-fewest goals in that time (10%).
M. Arambarri
R. Bentancur
76' Uruguay make a change in midfield as Bentancur is taken off for Arambarri.
L. Messi
G. Lo Celso
76' Messi makes his entrance 76 minutes into the match, replacing Lo Celso.
74' Argentina get the ball up the pitch quickly following Uruguay’s free-kick, leading to a dangerous counter-attack led by Joaquin Correa. The Inter forward manages to get all the way into the penalty area from half, but he’s foiled by a desperate lunging tackle by Bentancur.
72' Torres curls a left-footed free-kick into Argentina’s penalty area but again Emiliano Martinez is unafraid to come off his line and punch the ball away.
70' Uruguay have only seen 31% possession in the match, but the Celeste have managed eight more shots than their opponents; as well as two more on-target.
68' Messi has put on a training bib and started his warm-up. Perhaps Scaloni will give him 15 minutes on the pitch - with the match still hanging in the balance.
66' Agustin Alvarez catches De Paul in the face with a flailing arm, stopping what looked to be a good chance on the counter for Uruguay.
Agustín Álvarez Martínez
M. Vecino
64' Tabarez makes a change before the set-piece as Agustin Alvarez comes in for Vecino.
63' Torres puts a tricky cross into the penalty area after winning space ahead of Molina, forcing Emiliano Martinez to palm it behind for a corner.
61' Piquerez takes a free-kick from deep in midfield on the left looking for Gimenez, but Emiliano Martinez comes off his line with confidence to leap for the high, hanging ball.
59' Gomez goes on a wonderfully mazy run - feinting inside to deceive two defenders before shifting the ball onto his left foot and firing a curler that bends just wide of the far post!
57' Uruguay have been unable to score in three of their six home matches in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, with their 4-2 win over Bolivia their largest margin of victory.
Á. Correa
Á. Di María
55' Gomez will presumably shift out to the wing as Argentina also introduce Angel Correa to play through the middle with Di Maria exiting the pitch.
A. Gómez
L. Martínez
55' Scaloni makes a change at striker, with Lautaro Martinez coming off for Gomez.
54' Nandez’s two-footed tackle catches Acuna and sends him over in the latest clash between the winger and full-back. They’ve been in a physical duel all match, with the Sevilla left-back getting the better of his opponent.
52' Suarez is furious he hasn’t been awarded a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area after going over the legs of Guido Rodriguez. The referee deems the striker to have initiated the contact before allowing play to continue.
50' A CHANCE GOES TO WASTE! Di Maria drops deep into his half to pick up possession and gives the ball away cheaply to Piquerez. The full-back charges into the penalty area and looks to beat the goalkeeper at the near post but he can only send his effort wide!
M. Cáceres
Yellow Card
48' Caceres is shown a yellow card for clattering through the back of Lo Celso to win a ball in the air - catching the midfielder in the head.
46' Uruguay get the match restarted from the kick-off!
F. Torres
B. Rodríguez
46' Uruguay make a change at the interval as well, sending Torres on for Brian Rodriguez.
J. Correa
P. Dybala
46' A change at half-time sees Dybala withdrawn for Joaquin Correa.
Scaloni must decide whether or not it’s worth it to introduce Messi, who is still apparently dealing with a knock. Argentina have looked rather unimpressive breaking down the low Uruguay block and could do with his presence, whoever the Albiceleste also have the likes of Angel Correa and Gomez to call upon. Uruguay are left with little option but to attack and could use the fresh legs of Agustin Alvarez or Torres to trouble the opposition’s defence.
A hotly contested first half in Montevideo comes to a close with the visitors leading 1-0, thanks to Di Maria’s fantastic strike after just seven minutes. The hosts looked the better of the two sides to start, pressing intensely and forcing a number of turnovers, one of which led to a close-range shot from Bentancur which was saved well by Emiliano Martinez. Oscar Tabarez’s side remained dangerous even after conceding, with Suarez hitting the post before sending a second effort wide of the post. Argentina have looked better in control of the ball but have rarely troubled Muslera since going ahead as most of the play is happening in midfield.
45' The fourth official indicates one minute of time will be added at the end of the half for stoppages.
44' Suarez attempts an audacious overhead-kick at the far post after a corner taken from the left but it fails to trouble the goalkeeper on its way wide.
42' GREAT SAVE! Vecino receives a pass on the edge of the penalty area from Suarez and lets it roll through his legs - losing Guido Rodriguez in the process before turning and firing a shot. It’s a low effort but Emiliano Martinez reads it perfectly, making a clean save.
40' Uruguay have just five minutes to make something happen if they wish to go into half-time level. They’ve had their fair share of chances so far but have failed in the finishing department, leaving something to be desired at the top end of the pitch.
38' Guido Rodriguez is alert to the danger inside the penalty area during a Uruguay throw-in, clearing the delivery to Suarez, who had manoeuvred in front of his marker.
36' Uruguay have failed to score in five of their last six matches against Argentina, with the only goals coming in a friendly 2-2 draw in November 2019.
34' Uruguay’s corner from the left is taken towards Gimenez at the far post but Molina and Otamendi combine to scramble it away.
32' SUAREZ HITS THE POST! The bouncing ball falls to Suarez just outside the penalty area but his volleyed effort hits squarely against the base of the post. It comes back to the Atleti striker, who rushes his second effort and sends it wide!
30' Bentancur’s determination to win the ball back from Guido Rodriguez outside Argentina’s penalty area gets the Juventus midfielder in trouble with the referee - as he’s deemed to have fouled his opponent in the process.
28' Piquerez goes on a rare foray forwards but his cross is poor as it fails to find a team-mate anywhere in the vicinity.
26' Argentina are attempting to slow down the tempo to what has been a fast-paced opening 25 minutes. Uruguay’s press isn’t quite as furious as it was to start the game, which is allowing Romero and Otamendi a little extra time on the ball.
24' Lo Celso attempts a clever throughball using the outside of his boot for Di Maria but Muslera comes off his line quickly to smother the ball.
22' Nandez jumps over the back of Acuna and crashes to the floor during a duel for an aerial ball. It’s an Argentina free-kick as the match begins to pick up in physicality.
20' Romero is down in some pain after an almighty clattering in midfield between the Tottenham defender and Vecino. The two jumped into each other at full speed - which looked to be extremely painful.
P. Dybala
Yellow Card
18' Dybala steps on the foot of Torreira during a race for the loose ball - sending the midfielder to the ground in a heap. The referee doesn't hesitate to brandish the yellow card; the first of the match.
17' Lautaro Martinez picks up the ball on the left wing and breaks through two defenders, only for Romero to come across and boot it out of play.
15' Suarez gets onto possession inside the penalty area but De Paul and Romero combine to narrow the angle - forcing the Atletico Madrid striker into hitting the side netting.
13' Brian Rodriguez charges towards goal but the referee brings the play back to award Argentina a foul after Bencantur was deemed to have impeded De Paul.
11' Suarez strikes the free-kick with power and curl, but he just misses the near corner - sending the effort narrowly wide.
9' Uruguay win a free-kick just outside Argentina’s penalty area immediately after conceding, as Guido Rodriguez’s overzealous attempt to win the ball brings Suarez down.
P. Dybala
7' Dybala's hard work up the pitch earns him an assist, finding Di Maria with enough space for the shot.
Á. Di María
7' ARGENTINA TAKE THE LEAD! WHAT A GOAL! Dybala forces a turnover just outside the penalty area on the right and plays it to Di Maria, who places his shot in the top corner with spectacular accuracy from a standing position! 1-0!
5' CHANCE! A throw-in for Uruguay is headed unconvincingly first by Romero, then by Otamendi who turns it over to Torreira. The Fiorentina midfielder manages to play it through to the edge of the six-yard box for Bentancur, whose strike is parried expertly by Emiliano Martinez!
4' Brian Rodriguez gets free down the left and centres a lovely pass for Suarez, forcing Romero into an awkward clearance while falling backwards.
3' Uruguay are pressing extremely intently to start the match, forcing Argentina’s defence into a number of early turnovers in their own half.
1' Argentina get the match underway from the kick-off!
Argentina make two alterations from the XI that beat Peru 1-0 last month. Guido Rodriguez starts in midfield for the injured Leandro Paredes, while a knock to Messi keeps him on the bench to start the game - giving Juventus’ Dybala a spot in the side.
Uruguay make five changes from their 4-1 loss to Brazil last time out. Caceres and Piquerez are in at full-back, replacing Matias Vina and Nicolas De La Cruz - both of whom are unavailable. Gimenez returns to fitness however and reprises his role in the centre of defence alongside Godin, as Sebastian Coates was not taken with the squad due to injury. The final two changes come in midfield as Federico Valverde and Edinson Cavani were left with their clubs - giving Brian Rodriguez a start on the wing and Torreira a place in the centre of the park.
ARGENTINA SUBS: Joaquin Correa, Nicolas Tagliafico, Gonzalo Montiel, Julian Alvarez, Franco Armani, Lucas Martinez Quarta, Alejandro Gomez, Lisandro Martinez, Angel Correa, Juan Musso, Exequiel Palacios, Lionel Messi.
ARGENTINA XI (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna; Rodrigo De Paul, Guido Rodriguez, Giovani Lo Celso; Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez, Paulo Dybala.
URUGUAY SUBS: Martin Campana, Kevin Dawson, Ronald Araujo, Giovanni Gonzalez, Damian Suarez, Fernando Gorriaran, Gaston Pereiro, Manuel Ugarte, Mauro Arambarri, Augustin Alvarez, Jonathan Rodriguez, Facundo Torres.
URUGUAY XI (4-1-4-1): Fernando Muslera; Martin Caceres, Jose Gimenez, Diego Godin, Joaquin Piquerez; Matias Vecino; Brian Rodriguez, Rodrigo Bentancur, Lucas Torreira, Nahitan Nandez; Luis Suarez.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let's take a look at how the two sides are lining up - starting with our hosts!
Argentina lead the all-time head-to-head record against Uruguay, emerging victorious on 91 occasions while falling to defeat 59 times. Lionel Scaloni’s side will be looking for another tick in the win column tonight; which would qualify them for the World Cup with six games to go. Despite travelling with the squad, injury concerns surrounding Lionel Messi could mean a rare start on the bench for the Paris Saint-Germain forward - with Paulo Dybala a likely entrant in his absence.
The Clasico del Rio de la Plata takes centre stage for the 200th time as Uruguay welcome Argentina to the Estadio Campeon del Siglo in Montevideo. Oscar Tabarez’s side were poor during the last international break, managing a 0-0 draw with Colombia before heavy defeats to both today’s opponents and Brazil. The Celeste start the day in sixth place - outside of a qualification spot - but could jump as high as fourth with a sole point.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier between Uruguay and Argentina!