Argentina 1-0 Uruguay

Diego Maradona’s Argentina booked their place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ finals as substitute Mario Bolatti hit a later winner to end Uruguay’s hopes of snatching automatic qualification. Huracan midfielder Bolatti, winning just his third cap, fired home with six minutes remaining after the home defence failed to deal with Juan Sebastian Veron’s drilled effort from a free-kick.

The hosts ended the night with ten men after Martin Caceres picked up a second yellow card in the build up to Argentina’s winner. Maradona has come in for fierce criticism for his disjointed handling of Argentina’s qualification campaign, which has seen him field over 70 players, but victory in Montevideo tonight should silence his critics, until next summer at least.

 

Argentina 2-1 Peru

Substitute Martin Palermo’s close-range finish deep into injury time earned Argentina a thrilling last-gasp win over Peru in Buenos Aires just minutes after Diego Maradona’s men looked to have suffered yet another 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifying setback. Palermo, whom Maradona has recalled to the national team after a ten-year absence, tapped home at the far post in driving rain to send his coach diving across the sodden turf on his stomach in celebration. Hernan Rengifo had headed an equaliser for Peru in the 90th minute to cancel out debutant Gonzalo Higuain’s opener early in the second half.

The win moved Argentina up to fourth place in the South American qualifying table, a point ahead of Uruguay, whom they play on Wednesday, and two clear of Ecuador. Maradona sprung a surprise with his team selection, leaving big-name strikers Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero on the bench and instead handing Higuain his first cap.

 

Argentina 2-0 Ghana

Martin Palermo led Argentina to a 2-0 friendly win over Ghana as Diego Maradona’s side prepare for the culmination of their 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaign on Sept. 30th.