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FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifying: Uruguay ends longest winning streak of Lionel Messi's Argentina, Colombia stuns Brazil

Argentina's unbeaten streak ends with a 2-0 loss to Uruguay; Brazil also loses to Colombia 2-1. Uruguay and Brazil struggle.

Lionel Messi and Argentina suffered a 2-0 loss to Uruguay in a World Cup qualifying match at La Bombonera Stadium. This defeat ended Argentina's unbeaten streak since their FIFA World Cup 2022 title. Uruguay's victory marked their biggest win under new coach Marcelo Bielsa. Argentina had not lost a competitive match since the group-stage opener against Saudi Arabia during last year's World Cup in Qatar.

Meanwhile, Brazil continued their poor campaign in qualifying with a 2-1 loss at Colombia, their second consecutive defeat in the round-robin competition. Striker Luiz Diaz scored twice on headers to lead an impressive turnaround at the Metropolitano Stadium in Barranquilla.

Despite the loss, Argentina still leads the 10-team South American qualifying group with 12 points from five matches. Uruguay is second with 10 points. Colombia has nine and Venezuela eight. Brazil will host the World Cup champions at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in fifth position, with seven points.

The 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico, and Canada will include 48 teams, meaning direct entry for the top six teams from South America. The seventh-place team can earn a berth in an intercontinental playoff.

Uruguay were aggressive from the start against the World Cup champions. They capitalized on a mistake by defender Nicolás Otamendi to score the opening goal. Argentina's coach Lionel Scaloni looked jittery as his midfielders struggled to block Uruguay's wingers.

Lionel Messi and Argentina came close to leveling the scoring but were unable to capitalize on their chances. Uruguay continued to pressure Argentina, and Núnez scored in the 87th minute on a counter after the Uruguayan defense stopped Messi at the edge of its box.

In the match between Brazil and Colombia, Gabriel Martinelli opened the scoring for Brazil in the fourth minute. However, Colombia's Luiz Diaz scored twice to secure a 2-1 victory.

With Neymar and Casemiro out with injuries, Brazil coach Fernando Diniz had to make significant changes to the team. The game was described as "a physical encounter" by Diniz.

Overall, the matches showcased the competitiveness of South American football and the challenges faced by some of the top teams in the region.

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