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WC Qualification South America

  • 27 March 2013
  • • 01:30
  • • Estadio Hernando Siles, La Paz
  • Referee: E. Osses
  • • Attendance: 35000

Live Commentary

  • Thanks for joining me, muchachos. Until next time.
  • 90' + 2'
    And that's that. Full time in La Paz. And probably the right result.
  • 90'
    SubstitutionÁngel Di María Pablo Guiñazú
  • 90'
    Looks like this one is heading for a draw, folks, which is probably a fair result.
  • 88'
    Two minutes remaining and Bolivia still coming forward as the home crowd turn up the volume. Argentina will be happy if it stays like this.
  • 86'
    SubstitutionRodrigo Palacio Franco Di Santo
    Franco Di Santo will come on to replace Palacio for the final five minutes. The Inter man wasn't in his best form today, but he's had little support for much of the afternoon.
  • 84'
    Wow. A horrible error at the back from Edward Zenteno send Messi clean through on goal, but he passes the ball straight at Galarza in the Bolivia goal. Huge change goes begging.
  • 82'
    And still it;s Bolivia who look most likely right now.
  • 79'
    Yellow Card Javier Mascherano
    Masch goes into the book for a slightly overexuberant tackle.
  • 78'
    Argentina looking increasingly broken as the game goes on. Ponzio wins the ball, ignores Mascherano's attempts to take over, plays it wide to Palacio and then the entire midfield retreat once again. Palacio, on his own against four defenders, promptly concedes possession.
  • 76'
    Yellow Card R. Raldés
  • 76'
    Messi takes the free kick himself, sending one curling for the far corner, but Galarza dives to turn it away. One for the cameras, that one.
  • 75'
    Di Maria wins a free kick on the left, some 25 yards from goal.
  • 73'
    SubstitutionR. Cardozo G. Mojica
  • 73'
    Marcelo Martins continues to work the channels but this time his cross from the right is deflected safely into Romero's hands.
  • 73'
    Marcelo Martins continues to work the channels but this time his cross from the right is deflected safely into Romero's hands.
  • 71'
    Messi still looking slightly isolated out there, he needs someone to get closer to him, ideally both Di Marid and Palacio.
  • 68'
    Well, that was ambitious: Mascherano tries his luck from his own half. Over.
  • 66'
    Yellow Card L. Gutiérrez
  • 65'
    SubstitutionD. Bejarano J. Arce
  • 65'
    Speaking of tiring, or not, Angel di Maria has certainly tired a little. Lavezzi's running could probably do some damage were Sabella to introduce the PSG man for the last fifteen minutes.
  • 63'
    Bolivia taking their usual mid-game breather in preparation to crank up the tempo once again in the latter stages of this game. There's a wave coming, Argentina would do well to do as much as damage as possible before it arrives.
  • 62'
    SubstitutionEver Banega Leonardo Ponzio
  • 61'
    Leo Ponzio comes on to replace goalscorer Banega and sure up the midfield a little.
  • 60'
    We've reached the hour mark now and Bolivia have slowed a little, no doubt in preparation for another big push towards the end.
  • 58'
    Wonderful move from Argentina as Ever Banega plays a one-two with Di Maria before his curling shot from outside the box is well saved. Messi latches onto the rebounds and tries his own luck from range, but drags his shot wide of the near post.
  • 56'
    Messi gives a few Bolivia defenders the run around. Argentina need to get more men around the little magician, he can certainly open up this Bolivia defence.
  • 55'
    The pace has slowed slightly this half, which will certainly suit Argentina.
  • 53'
    Would probably make sense for a few more Argentina players to go down and get a bit of oxygen.
  • 51'
    Di Maria goes down under a heavy challenge, and uses his recovery time to get some much needed oxygen.
  • 50'
    Bolivia continue to try their luck from distance, this time Marvin Bejarano sees his effort deflected wide for a corner, which eventually comes to nothing.
  • 48'
    Marcelo Martins stuck the resulting free kick, and got it up and over the wall but it drifted straight into Romero's hands.
  • 46'
    Yellow Card Ever Banega
    And Ever Banega immediately goes into the book for a late tackle on Veizaga.
  • 46'
    SubstitutionJ. Torrico M. Bejarano
  • 46'
    Here we go again.
  • Evo Morales looks to be enjoying the game this afternoon, and is now having a little chat with Carlos Bilardo.
  • 45'
    And that's half time. Breathtaking game so far.
  • 45'
    immediately at the other end Saucedo finds space, latching on to Martins' header but can only stretch to volley harmlessly over the bar from just inside the box.
  • 44'
    Goal Ever Banega
    Gol! Argentina equalise. Messi again finds Clemente Rodriguez on the left and this time his cross is much better and finds Banega unmarked on the penalty spot, who sends his header low into the corner of Galarza's goal.
  • 42'
    Rudy Cardozo cuts in from the right and whacks a shot that flies past Romero's far post.
  • 40'
    Argentine have undoubtedly improved since going behind, but are still being made to defend in numbers.
  • 38'
    Argentina come forward again as Messi released Clemente on the left, but the ball takes a horrible bobble as he attempted to cross for Palacio.
  • 36'
    Bolivia come forward again, but Peruzzi wins it before finding Di Maria, who runs the length of the pitch before shooting narrowly wide from 20 yards. Argentina getting closer.
  • 34'
    Rodrigo Palacio finds space on the right and delivers a perfect cross for Di Maria, but the Real Madrid man sends his free header over from just ten yards. A great chance goes begging.
  • 32'
    Messi takes the free kick himself, and had it been a couple of feet lower, Rodrigo Palacio would have had a free header from six yards after Bolivia's offside trap failed.
  • 31'
    Brilliant from Messi. He slows it right down, finds a little pocket of space and bursts forward, skipping past two before Walter Veizaga hauls him down.
  • 29'
    And still they come. Bolivia are doing that thing they do where they sense the opposition is knackered and they just swarm.
  • 27'
    Argentina need to get a hold of the ball and slow it down now. Not that Bolivia will let them do so.
  • 25'
    Goal Marcelo Moreno
    GOL! Marcelo Martins! Chumacero's whipped cross finds the former Wigan man in the area who places his header back across goal and wide of Romero from 12 yards. Bolivia lead!
  • 23'
    The Hernando Siles is one of the highest football arenas in the world, at 3637m above sea level. In 2007 Fifa briefly banned games from La Paz due to the altitude, but relented after fierce protests.
  • 21'
    Bolivia continue to press and force a corner. Torrico torments Peruzzi, and wins another. This time it's played short before Alejandro Chumacero shoots wide from a long way out.
  • 19'
    And at the other end Saucedo heads just over the bar for Bolivia. This game is really coming to life now.
  • 18'
    Yellow Card Clemente Rodríguez
    End to end stuff! Argentina are forced to block two strikes at goal following a Bolivian free kick before they break, with Di Maria playing in Palacios, who has to check but finds himself on-on-one with Galarza from the edge of the area, but shoots straight at the keeper. Best chance of the game so far.
  • 16'
    Marcelo Martins is already causing some problems in the Argentine defence. He's not the player he looked at Cruzeiro, but will certainly keep Sabella's back three busy today.
  • 14'
    Bolivia take a quick free kick and Marcelo Martins hammers one in from distance, but Romero gets down low to his left to save.
  • 12'
    Huge chance for Bolivia as Marcelo Martins heads back across goal for Carlos Saucedo, whose header was blocked from point blank range by Romero. Nope, the flag had gone up.
  • 10'
    That was a real chance for Bolivia, who will be desperate to have Argentina in a position where they must chase the game.
  • 9'
    Celemente Rodriguez is pulled inside and Bejarano sneaks around the back, dribbles down the touchline and very nearly pulls back to offer a colleague an open goal before the ball is deflected up and over the bar.
  • 8'
    Messi take is himself... way over. He's just finding his range, the air is thin up there and the ball really travels.
  • 6'
    Messi breaks forward and finds Di Maria to his left, who's caught as he attempted to shoot from range. Free kick to Argentina, just left of centre some 25 yards out.
  • 4'
    Messi has his first run, but is crowded out. Argentina will have to slow down, as Messi said himself this week, "you exert yourself and never recover." It's high up there, Leo. Real high.
  • 2'
    As ever, the pitch is very heavy in La Paz. The ball moves very slowly, ensuring the player has to do with the work, which is never kind on the visitors.
  • 1'
    Bolivia come forward right from the off, but Torrico's cross is cleared.
  • 1'
    And we're off!
  • Lionel Messi also has unfinished business with the hosts - Bolivia are the only Conmebol side he's yet to score against.
  • And so they return. Four years ago Argentina were crushed 6-1 in this fixture, equalling the country's worst ever defeat. Angel di Maria will certainly be looking for revenge - he was sent off in that game.
  • Meawhile, you'll be disappointed to hear that Pablo Escobar misses out for the hosts. Bolivia: Galarza; Raldes, Zenteno, Gutierrez; Bejarano, Chavez, Chumacero, Cardozo, Torrico; Saucedo, Martins.
  • The team news is in. Higuain is suspended and Fernando Gago has a muscle strain, but Angel Di Maria returns. Lots of changes from Sabella, whose Argentina will line up in a 5-3-1-1, we think: Romero; Peruzzi, Dominguez, Campagnaro, Basanta, Rodriguez; Banega, Mascherano, Di Maria; Messi; Palacio.
  • Evening all, welcome to’s play-by-play coverage of Bolivia – Argentina from the dizzy heights of La Paz. My name is Rupert Fryer and I will be guiding you through the action. Hit me up on Twitter @rupert_fryer with your thoughts, or just your general abuse.