2018 World Cup Qualifier: Brazil-humble-Argentina-3-0, Lionel Messi fails to fire
New Delhi : Argentina’s star player Lionel Messi failed to deliver on his return against Brazil in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. It was a major blow to Argentina’s world cup dreams after they lost 3-0 against Brazil at Mineirao stadium on Friday.
The defeat pushed the world's top side to the sixth place and it will take a huge effort to get thier campaign back on track.
First half goals from Philippe Coutinho and Neymar were followed by a third from Paulinho after 58 minutes to sink the Argentines and extend their winless run to four games.
The result means Brazil remain top of the group with 24 points from 11 games.
Argentina are sixth on 16 points, with the top four teams qualifying automatically for the finals in Russia and the fifth-placed side going into a play-off with the Oceania winners.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi, who returned to the side after three games out injured, was anonymous in a match lit up by brilliant moments from the home side.
Brazil took the lead after 24 minutes when Neymar slipped the ball to Philippe Coutinho on the left with the deftest of touches and the Liverpool midfielder hammered an unstoppable drive into the top corner of the net.
The Barcelona striker was lucky not to concede a penalty after he handled in the box 12 minutes later but he was always dangerous at the other end and he doubled Brazil’s lead just seconds before half time when he coolly slotted home after taking a defence-splitting pass from Gabriel Jesus.
Earlier, Colombia drew 0-0 at home to Chile and stay in third, while Uruguay beat Ecuador 2-1 to remain second, a point behind Brazil.