RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 22: Luis Suarez of Uruguay celebrates scoring the opening goal during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group A match between Mexico and Uruguay at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 22, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying, Matchday 3: Uruguay, Paraguay Win; Draws For Colombia and Argentina

Luis Suarez is pretty good at football. He scored four goals against Chile, guiding Uruguay to an easy home win. Elsewhere, Argentina dropped points, Paraguay beat Ecuador and Colombia draw at home to Venezuela.

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Colombia Vs. Venezuela, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Venezuela Score Late To Rescue 1-1 Draw

Venezuela are slowly but surely demonstrating that they're not a team to be taken lightly. After a phenomenal showing during this summer's Copa America, they're also playing very well in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers, and Colombia are just the latest side to drop points against them following a 1-1 draw in Barranquilla that Venezuela may well have deserved to win.

The visitors looked good throughout, but it was Colombia who drew first blood after the impressive Jackson Martinez laid the ball off to Fredy Alejandro Guarin in the 11th minute. There didn't look to be much threat with Guarin a good 30 yards from goal, but the midfielder unleashed a thunderbolt towards Renny Vicente Vega's net, and Vega could only palm the ball into the top corner. From then on, it was very much a matter of Venezuela controlling the game, throwing bodies forward and yet being unable to convert, at least until very late in the game.

Immediately after Teofilo Antonio Gutierrez was denied Colombia's second thanks to the linesman's flag, the visitors struck back through Frank Feltscher, who broke free of the home defence and slipped the ball expertly beyond David Ospina to level the scores at 1-1. There was still some time for late drama, with Colombia's James Rodriguez clipping the crossbar in injury time, but the draw held and Venezuela got a good result away from home. Both teams are now in the top four in their qualifying group, in line for a berth at the 2014 World Cup.

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Paraguay Vs. Ecuador, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Home Side Takes Three Points In 2-1 Win

Paraguay didn't put in the prettiest performance in the world on Friday night. In fact, it wasn't the least bit pretty. it was super Paraguayish. However, they were effective and all wins count the same. Whether or not you're a fan of their football, they earned their 2-1 win over Ecuador and were the better side for most of the match, as Ecuador failed to create clear-cut scoring chances and marked poorly on set pieces.

Both of Paraguay's goals came from dead balls, one free kick and one corner. Victor Ayala delivered both beautifully, and his set pieces were spot on all night. The first goal came in the 46th minute with Christian Riveros finishing with his feet at the back post on a free kick, while Dario Veron scored the ultimate winner in the 57th minute on a corner.

Joao Rojas scored deep into stoppage time for Ecuador, but his goal came much too late for his team to mount a comeback. Paraguay now has four points from three matches, while Ecuador has one win and one loss, netting themselves three points from two matches.

We'll have live coverage of this match and all of the other games in South America in our CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying, Matchday 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.

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Uruguay Vs. Chile, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Full Time In The Luis Suarez Show

Chile were thoroughly crushed in their CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier against Uruguay, falling 4-0 to the almost-flawless Luis Suarez. It was hardly unexpected, however, what with all the drama surrounding the roja camp in the last week. With Arturo Vidal and Jorge Valdivia missing in midfield and Gonzalo Jara out from defense, it was always going to be difficult for Chile, but the elimination of Alexis Sanchez, re-injured in training earlier in the week, left them without a creative forward spark as well. It's hard to say, however, if even a full strength Chile side could have brought down the fantastic play of Suarez, who scored at least a hat-trick -- although it likely would have stemmed the bleeding.

Suarez scored the first of his three, or possibly four, goals, in the dying minutes of the first half, his long-range shot settling perfectly in the back of the net. Just two minutes later, a shot by Edinson Cavani was cleared off the line with a header by the Chile defense, but the ensuing scramble resulted in the ball ending up in the back of the net. Whether it was the fault of Walter Ponce or the brilliance of Luis Suarez's forehead remains to be seen.

Chile's best chance came around the 65th minute, when Matias Campos put the ball in the back of the net, but the linesman put up his flag. Turns out that the ball had been flicked onward by another Chilean player, meaning that Campos was offside when he scored in his first international appearance. Poor guy.

It appeared that Chile were set to rally after that goal, but Suarez had different ideas. Again, the goal can be blamed on Ponce, with the defender failing to adequately mark the Uruguayan forward. Suarez leapt, his head connected, and Uruguay had three -- although it was still questionable as to whether Suarez had his hat-trick.

All doubts were put to rest, however, with the fourth and final goal of the night. Cavani fell upon Sebastián Abreu's cross, but his first touch was less than perfect. Suarez came streaking forward, claiming the ball, but his resulting goal meant that he couldn't be faulted for being greedy.

That makes seven points from three games for Uruguay, while Chile have but three, coming from a 4-2 win over Peru. La Roja certainly have a steep mountain to climb now.

 

We'll have live coverage of this match and all of the other games in South America in our CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying, Matchday 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.

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Uruguay Vs. Chile Live, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Luis Suarez Hat-Trick, Uruguay Lead 4-0

Luis Suarez has scored a hat-trick for Uruguay in their CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying match against Chile. La Celeste have a 4-0 lead on 75 minutes, but the official count of Suarez's goals depends on who the second  will be awarded to: Suarez or the infamous Own Goal, also known as Walter Ponce.

The third goal was certainly all Suarez, however. Martin Caceres sent in a cross from the right side, and Chile defender Ponce failed once again, leaving Suarez alone to jump for the header. *Slam* and the ball was in the back of the net,

Less than ten minutes later and Suarez had yet another. Sebastián Abreu sent the cross into the center of the field, where Edinson Cavani was able to get a touch. The Napoli forward was set to chase down the ball, but Suarez came running up, grabbed the ball and fired into the back of the net. Just in case you weren't sure -- that makes a Suarez hat trick, also known as a "Dirty Suarez".

 

We'll have live coverage of this match and all of the other games in South America in our CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying, Matchday 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.

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Uruguay Vs. Chile Live, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: La Celeste Lead 2-0 At Halftime

It looked like the COMENBOL World Cup Qualifying match between Uruguay and Chile would go to halftime scoreless, although not for lack of trying by la celeste. Diego Lugano missed a close range header, Edinson Cavani's shot went just wide of the near post, and Luis Suarez's goal slid just outside the far post.

But Chile, missing significant members of their squad due to the dramatic suspensions earlier in the week, just couldn't keep a tight enough defense. Suarez sent in a long-range shot that slid past Claudio Bravo and settled into the far corner of the net. To the thrills of women everywhere, Cavani leaped on Suarez's lap, straddling him while hiding the Liverpool player's face from view.

Just two minutes later, Cavani did his damnedest to score his own goal, but the shot was cleared off the line with a desperate header by the roja defense. But the ball didn't go nearly far enough -- Suarez pounced, his head connected, and he had his second inside three minutes.

We'll have live coverage of this match and all of the other games in South America in our CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying, Matchday 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.

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Argentina Vs. Bolivia, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Full Time, Albiceleste Drop Points

Once again, Argentina have dropped points. Lionel Messi will be criticized again, perhaps unfairly, and Alejandro Sabella will have plenty of questions to answer. Bolivia are the side who have caused concerns for the Albiceleste once again, getting a 1-1 draw in Argentina just like they did at Copa America 2011. 

The first half ended 0-0, unsurprisingly. Argentina kept the ball, but struggled to create chances. Lionel Messi was fouled frequently. The Albiceleste didn't create much in the way of chances. When they did create one chance - a Gonzalo Higuain goal in the 22nd minute - it was incorrectly disallowed.

Marcelo Moreno scored on a scramble in the 56th minute, putting a nice finish into the back of the net from close range at the near post. The defending and goalkeeping wasn't the best, which is hardly surprising considering the fact that Argentina is still starting the likes of Martin Demichelis.

It took just three minutes to find and equalizer, and it was scored by Ezequiel Lavezzi just one minute after he entered the game for Ricky Alvarez. Picking up a great pass from Fernando Gago, the Napoli man played himself into a shooting position at the top of the penalty area and placed a great shot into the back of the net.

Argentina pressed hard for a winnner and created a number of half chances, but they were frantic and disorganized in doing so. They never really forced a great save out of Carlos Arias, and would be hard to argue that Bolivia didn't earn their point.

We'll have live coverage of this match and all of the other games in South America in our CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying, Matchday 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.

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Uruguay Vs. Chile Live, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Lineups

Chile are in crisis, which makes this a bad time to be travelling to Montevideo to play against Copa America winners Uruguay. Alexis Sanchez is injured. Several senior players have been dropped after attending a baptism (yeah, it's weird. The story is here). Chile... well, they're in trouble, and they're playing against an excellent Uruguay side that can boast two of the top strikers in world football leading the line. Either the visitors are going to bounce back from their internal problems, or they're going to get absolutely thumped.

Uruguay: Muslera; Cáceres, Lugano, Godín, Pereira; González, Pérez, Arévalo Ríos, Ramírez; Suárez, Cavani.

Chile: Bravo, Ponce, Contreras, González; Isla, Medel, Díaz, Fernández; Campos, Suazo, Vargas.

We'll have live coverage of this match and all of the other games in South America in our CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying, Matchday 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.

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Argentina Vs. Bolivia Live, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Ezequiel Lavezzi Scores Equalizer

Well that didn't take long! Less than five minutes after Bolivia scored a (somewhat) stunning equalizer, Argentina have found an equalizer, thanks to Napoli star Ezequiel Lavezzi. Despite his outstanding and consistent form for his club, Lavezzi has been extremely hot and cold when he has appeared for his country. On this occasion he's made Alejandro Sabella regret not putting him in the starting lineup, as he's given his team an equalizer and a hope for all three points.

Lavezzi came on for the relatively ineffective Ricky Alvarez shortly after the Bolivia goal in the 58th minute, and it took him less than two minutes on the pitch to make that substitution count. Running onto a great pass by Fernando Gago, Lavezzi found a gap in the Bolivia defense and placed a great shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area, saving his side from embarrassment. They'll now push hard for a winner, and it'll take some great defending from Bolivia to prevent them from finding it.

We'll have live coverage of this match and all of the other games in South America in our CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying, Matchday 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.

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Argentina Vs. Bolivia Live, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Marcelo Moreno Scores For Visitors

Argentina are on the verge of disaster against Bolivia again. It seems like there's nothing they can do to get this bogey team off of their back, and the pressure will now be on Alejandro Sabella and the players once again. The visitors lead 1-0 through 56 minutes against the Albiceleste, thanks to a goal by Marcelo Moreno, their star striker.

While Argentina have had all of the possession, are playing at home, and have superior talent to their opposition, this isn't a major shock. Bolivia scored in Argentina to nick a 1-1 draw against the hosts in the 2011 Copa America, and that followed a 6-1 beating of the Albiceleste in La Paz in World Cup qualifying. This is Argentina's bogey team, no doubt about it.

The goal was a typical Bolivia goal - a total scramble. Eventually, after Moreno, goalkeeper Sergio Romero and the Argentina defense flailed around aimlessly and kicked at the ball like a U-7 side, Moreno found and opportunity to finish from close range and a narrow angle. He took it, poking the ball into the back of the net for the go-ahead goal.

We'll have live coverage of this match and all of the other games in South America in our CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying, Matchday 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.

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Argentina Vs. Bolivia Live, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Halftime Score, Albeceleste Dominant But Unable To Score

Surprise! Argentina are all over Bolivia in their CONMEBOL World Cup 20144 qualifying match, but they have been unable to find the back of the net. The two teams are locked up in a draw, producing a 0-0 halftime score after 45 minutes. Argentina are passing well and Lionel Messi has been great, but it hasn't led to a goal yet.

Or, at least, it hasn't led to a goal that stood. Argentina actually created a goal that was very much good and legal in the 22nd minute, but it was ruled out by poor officiating. Lionel Messi was fouled outside the box, but the ball fell to an onside Gonzalo Higuain, who hit the ball into the back of the net. The referee failed to play advantage, though, and play was blown dead before Higuain scored.

Messi has been fouled constantly by Bolivia, who have decided that kicking him in the shins repeatedly is much easier than marking him. They are not incorrect in this regard.

Argentina have only hit one shot on target, despite all of their dominance. They simply aren't creating clear-cut chances. Once again, the talent on the pitch is great and the football isn't all that bad, but the results are not there for the Albiceleste. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that they are depending on Pablo Zabaleta for width. Since Argentina are lacking true wingers on their bench as well, they better figure something out quickly.

We'll have live coverage of this match and all of the other games in South America in our CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying, Matchday 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.

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Argentina Vs. Bolivia Live, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Lineups

Argentina were disappointing in their loss to Venezuela during their last CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 qualifying match, but most are backing them to rebound and come away from a home match against Bolivia with three points. However, the last time Bolivia met the Albiceleste in Argentina, they came away with a point, just earlier this year in the 2011 Copa America. Angel di Maria and Sergio Aguero are out, causing Argentina to make adjustments. Javier Pastore will finally start, while Ricky Alvarez will also come into the starting lineup. Argentina has a very creative team, but they could end up being a bit narrow. Bolivia will likely put 10 behind the ball at all times. Here are the lineups.

Argentina Lineup (4-3-2-1): Romero; Rodriguez, Burdisso, Demichelis, Zabaleta; Mascherano, Gago, Alvarez; Messi, Pastore; Higuain

Bolivia Lineup (4-4-1-1): Arias; Gutierrez, Rivero, Mendez, Vargas; Cardozo, Robles, Flores, Rojas; Escobar; Andaveris

Kickoff is at 3:00 pm ET from Argentina.

We'll have live coverage of this match and all of the other games in South America in our CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying, Matchday 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.

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Paraguay Vs. Ecuador, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Sad Trombone For This Game

Paraguay and Ecuador are playing a CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 qualifier. Lucas Barrios and Antonio Valencia might make it fun. More likely than not, they will fail in this endeavor.

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Colombia Vs. Venezuela, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Radamel Falcao Out, Jackson Martinez In

Radamel Falcao is out for Colombia, while Fernando Amorebieta has been a spectacular addition for Venezuela. Could the road team pull off a massive upset in CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 qualifying?

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Uruguay Vs. Chile, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Both Teams Missing Key Players

Chile and Uruguay are both missing a number of key players for their CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 qualifying match, but there will still be fantastic talent on the field

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Radamel Falcao Injury: Atletico Madrid Striker Hurts Hamstring, Jackson Martinez To Start For Colombia

Colombian international striker Radamel Falcao has been ruled out of his country's World Cup 2014 qualifiers with a hamstring injury.

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Manchester City's Sergio Aguero Injured On International Duty With Argentina

Argentina will miss Sergio Aguero against Bolivia and will likely miss him for their trip away to Colombia. Manchester City will be hoping his injury isn't serious, with three crucial fixtures in eight days coming up.

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Five Sent Packing From Chile National Squad Due To Breaking Curfew

Claudio Borghi threw five players out of the Chilean national team as punishment for breaking curfew. They'll be replaced by players from the domestic league, ahead of Chile's qualifiers with Uruguay and Paraguay.

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