Argentina draw with Ecuador in football World Cup qualifier

Quito (Ecuador), June 12 (IANS) Argentina have wasted the chance to secure their place at next year’s World Cup with a 1-1 draw against Ecuador.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero gave the visitors the lead with third-minute spot-kick before Segundo Castillo equalised with a precise header at the Olympic Stadium here Tuesday, reports Xinhua.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men three minutes from time when Javier Mascherano was sent off for an altercation with a medical official after he was taken off on a stretcher.

Lionel Messi was introduced as a 61st-minute substitute by Argentina coach Alejandro Sabell, but the four-time Ballon d’Or winner was noticeably still struggling with an injured right hamstring.

Meanwhile, Colombia moved closer to their first World Cup appearance for 16 years with a 2-0 victory over Peru in the Atlantic port city of Barranquilla.

Striker Radamel Falcao netted from the penalty spot before Teofilo Gutierrez doubled the home side’s lead on the stroke of half time.

Argentina lead the South America zone standings with 26 points, three ahead of Colombia with Ecuador two points further adrift.

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