Ronald Araujo and Darwin Nunez scored in each half as Uruguay clinched a 2-0 away win over Argentina in their FIFA World Cup qualifier in Buenos Aires on Thursday (Nov 16). Brazil continued its poor campaign in qualifying with a 2-1 loss at Colombia, its second consecutive defeat in the round-robin competition. Argentina, who had won all four of their opening qualifiers, remain top of the standings with 12 points from five matches while Uruguay are second with 10 points.
Darwin Nunez scored as Uruguay ended Argentina's 14-match winning run going back to the 2022 World Cup. The forward slotted home in the 87th minute after Ronald Araujo had opened the scoring in the 2026 World Cup qualifier in Buenos Aires.
World Cup winners Argentina had not lost since their 2-1 defeat by Saudi Arabia in their first match at the Qatar tournament last year.
It was the first time Messi had failed to score for his country, when playing, since their World Cup group-stage win over Poland.
Araujo's opener for Uruguay was the first goal Argentina have conceded since the World Cup final against France - a run of eight matches.
Uruguay appointed Marcelo Bielsa as head coach in May and Messi said the Argentine's influence is already clear.
Brazil continued its poor campaign in qualifying with a 2-1 loss at Colombia, its second consecutive defeat in the round-robin competition. Striker Luiz Diaz scored twice on headers to lead an impressive turnaround at the Metropolitano Stadium in Barranquilla, with his father celebrating in the stands only days after being released by kidnappers. It was Colombia’s first victory over Brazil in World Cup qualifying in 15 matches.
Elsewhere in South American qualifying, Chile and Paraguay both had a man sent off in a goalless draw, Venezuela and Ecuador also ended scoreless and Bolivia beat Peru 2-0 courtesy of goals from Henry Vaca and Ramiro Vaca.
The results leave Argentina still top of the pile, with Uruguay now second, Colombia third and Brazil down in fifth, also behind Venezuela, who remain well-placed to end their unwanted record of being the only South American nation to have never qualified for a World Cup.
Ecuador, Paraguay and Chile have five points each. Bolivia has three and Peru one.
The 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada will include 48 teams, meaning direct entry for the top six teams from South America. The seventh-place team can earn a berth in an intercontinental playoff.