Messi and Argentina suffer first defeat in qualifiers

Uruguay ended Argentina’s 14-match unbeaten streak with a 2-0 victory over the world champions in World Cup qualifiers at the Alberto J. Armando Stadium in Buenos Aires on Friday.

Ronald Araújo in the 41st minute and Darwin Núñez scored in the 86th minute to lead Uruguay and break Argentine goalie Emiliano Martínez’s impressive shutout streak of 751 minutes. It was Lionel Messi and Argentina’s first defeat of the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign, and their first loss since they were stunned 2-1 by Saudi Arabia at the 2022 finals in Qatar.


“We had to lose someday, this happens,” Messi said after the game. Argentina, who had won all four of their opening qualifiers, remain on top of the standings with 12 points from five matches. Uruguay’s win leaves them in second place on 10 points.

Argentina had not relinquished a goal to their opponents in eight matches – four friendlies and four qualifying matches – since their thrilling victory over France in the World Cup final. Martínez won the Golden Glove at the World Cup, and the Yashin Trophy last month at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony as the best goalie in the game. But his streak, the longest in Argentina’s history, came to an end.

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