5 Things We Learned from Argentina's 3-0 Win over Uruguay
On Friday night, Argentina took care of Uruguay at home with a 3-0 win in Mendoza, Argentina.
Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero were the stars on the night for the victors, as Messi scored twice while Aguero scored a goal himself.
All of the goals came in the second half as Argentina solidified their spot at the top of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying table.
The win puts Argentina on top of the table with 17 points from eight matches, ahead of Colombia and Ecuador by one point.
Uruguay stayed in the fourth and final qualifying position as they sit on 12 points.
Here are five things that we learned from Friday's home win by Argentina.
Lionel Messi Delivers When He Is Needed the Most
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After scoring both of Barcelona's goals in their El Clasico match with Real Madrid last weekend, Messi scored two of Argentina's three goals on Friday.
Messi was not the best player on the pitch for Argentina on Friday, but he stepped up when his team needed a go-ahead goal.
In the 66th minute, after a string of passes by his teammates, Messi finished off a cross from Angel di Maria to give the Argentinians the lead for good.
In the 80th minute, Messi gave his team an insurance goal in the form of a free kick as well.
Messi now has six goals in eight World Cup qualifying matches, which ties him with his team mate Gonzalo Higuain and Uruguay's Luis Suarez.
Argentina's Defense Is Better Than You Think
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One thing that has been lost in all the hype surrounding the Argentina attack is that their defense is equally as good.
Against Uruguay, the defense held their opponents to a minimal amount of chances, which included just two shots on goal.
It was not just the back four that helped make Luis Suarez seem nonexistent on Friday, it was the midfield duo of Fernando Gago and Javier Mascherano that thwarted the Uruguayans as well.
In the first eight matches of qualifying, Argentina has only given up six goals and they have not given up more than one goal in any match during the qualifying process.
Uruguay Is Not as Good as You Think They Are
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Uruguay caught everyone's attention during the 2010 FIFA World Cup—where they reached the semifinals—and the 2011 Copa America, which they won.
But that attention is beginning to go away along with a string of disappointing results in World Cup qualifying.
Prior to their 3-0 loss on Friday, Uruguay were blown out by Colombia and then drew with Ecuador at home.
With only one point against the three teams ahead of them in the CONMEBOL table, Uruguay needs to fix their current issues so they will not have to qualify for the World Cup through a playoff.
The good news for Uruguay is that they can make up their deficit on the top three in their next four qualifying matches before ending with Colombia, Ecuador and Argentina next fall.
Argentina's Attack Rivals the Ones of Germany and Spain
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Going into the 2014 World Cup, Spain and Germany are the clear favorites from Europe to win the title, but they may have to face a formidable foe in Argentina.
While both European nations cruised to victory in their respective qualifying matches, Argentina sent them a message that they too can be a dominant force on the world stage.
The forward trio of Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain created numerous chances for Argentina, including the passes which led to the first two goals.
The other driving force in the Argentina attack on Friday was Angel di Maria, who may be one of the game's most underrated players.
Those four could be joined by players like Javier Pastore, Ever Banega, Ezequiel Lavezzi and German Denis in attack by the time the World Cup comes around.
If those quality players join the current ones on the Argentina roster, they may have the most potent attack heading into Brazil in 2014.
Argentina Will Win CONMEBOL Qualifying Group Easily
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After eight matches, Argentina has 17 points and they lead the CONMEBOL qualifying table by one point.
With the win over Uruguay, Argentina has now won all three matches against the other title contenders in the group.
Not only has Argentina beaten the nations right behind them in the table, they have been able to get results against everyone else in the group except for a surprise 1-0 loss to Venezuela.
With a ton of positive momentum heading into the final eight matches of World Cup qualifying, Argentina should have no problem beating everyone in their path to the CONMEBOL group title.