Chile 1-2 Argentina

Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain scored as Argentina retained top spot in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ CONMEBOL qualifying zone thanks to a 2-1 win over Chile in Santiago on Tuesday.

It was a fifth win in six games for Argentina, who have 20 points and are three clear of Ecuador in the standings.

Messi opened the scoring in the 27th minute with his 14th goal in 14 appearances under national team coach Alejandro Sabella.

And Higuain made it 2-0 just three minutes later after collecting a long pass from Angel Di Maria and firing past Miguel Pinto.

Higuain was forced off with an apparent ankle injury in the second half following a bad tackle by Gonzalo Jara, while Chile got on the scoresheet in injury time through Felipe Gutierrez.

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Argentina 3-0 Uruguay

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi scored twice as Argentina defeated Uruguay 3-0 on Friday to remain comfortably on course for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.

The victory kept the 1978 and 1986 world champions on top of the nine-nation South American group, while continental champions Uruguay remain in the fourth and final automatic qualifying place.

Messi grabbed his 11th and 12th goals of the campaign in Mendoza, but the Argentina skipper had to wait until midway through the second half to unlock a tight Uruguay defence.

He opened the scoring in the 66th minute when he slid in from a cross by Angel Di Maria with his second goal – and his team’s third – coming eight minutes from time.

In between, Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero hit the target, again from good approach work from the tireless Di Maria.

Argentina thought they had a fourth goal in the dying minutes but substitute Hernan Barcos’s effort, off a one-two with Messi, was ruled out for offside.

The win leaves Argentina with 17 points from eight matches, one ahead of Colombia and Ecuador who both also won on Friday.

“When you give everything, the results are easier,” said Messi. “This victory leaves us very happy because we played a team which is very strong. Now comes a tough game against Chile (on Tuesday). Even though they lost today they are rivals whom we respect.”