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Di Maria helps Argentina post 1-0 win at Uruguay

Argentina started without Lionel Messi but a moment of magic from Angel Di Maria was enough to give it a barely deserved 1-0 win over Uruguay in Friday’s World Cup qualifier in Montevideo.

Di Maria helps Argentina post 1-0 win at Uruguay
Argentina?s Angel Di Maria celebrates after scoring against Uruguay

Buenos Aires

Uruguay had surrendered meekly to Argentina in a 3-0 defeat last month but this time, it took the game to its opponent and will feel aggrieved at emerging pointless after having more of the chances in front of its home fans.

The match was decided by a moment of brilliance from forward Di Maria after just six minutes.

Young Uruguayan left back Joaquin Piquerez lost possession on the edge of the penalty area and Di Maria curled a sublime shot over helpless keeper Fernando Muslera. The second half was more even and both the goalkeepers made important saves but Uruguay’s lack of firepower – it has now scored only two goals in its last five games – meant it struggled against a typically solid Argentine team.

The victory takes Argentina to 28 points, six behind Brazil, which on Thursday became the first South American team to guarantee its place in Qatar 2022 after beating Colombia 1-0.

Result: Uruguay 0 lost to Argentina 1 (Di Maria 6)

Kane hat-trick sinks Albania

England captain Harry Kane plundered a hat-trick before half-time in a 5-0 hammering of Albania at Wembley on Friday to all but guarantee his side’s spot at next year’s World Cup in Qatar.

Two draws in its last three Group I matches for Gareth Southgate’s team left the door ajar for Poland in the qualifying race, but Kane slammed it shut in memorable fashion as he moved level in fourth place on England’s all-time scoring list. England central defender Harry Maguire settled any early nerves with a ninth-minute headed opener before Kane’s goal spree began, when he also headed in the ball from close range after 18 minutes.

Results: England 5 (Maguire 9, Kane 18, 33 & 45+1, Henderson 28) bt Albania 0; Italy 1 (di Lorenzo 36) drew with Switzerland 1 (Widmer 11); Andorra 1 (Vales Carus 45) lost to Poland 4 (Lewandowski 5 & 73, Jozwiak 11, Milik 45+2); Northern Ireland 1 (Satkus 17-og) bt Lithuania 0; Hungary 4 (Szoboszlai 6 & 83, Gazdag 22, Vecsei 88) bt San Marino 0; Moldova 0 lost to Scotland 2 (Patterson 38, Adams 65); Austria 4 (Arnautovic 51-pen, Schaub 62 & 72, Sabitzer 84) bt Israel 2 (Bitton 32, Peretz 58)

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