Uruguay, Ecuador set pace, Argentina get first point

SAO PAULO: Argentina remain winless in South American qualifying for the 2018 World Cup after struggling to a 0-0 in Paraguay on Tuesday, while Uruguay and Ecuador both made it two wins from two games to top the group.

Uruguay beat a poor Colombia 3-0 while Ecuador, who stunned Argentina in Buenos Aires five days ago, scored a 2-0 home win over Bolivia.

Uruguay top the 10-nation group on goal difference from Ecuador, each with six points, Paraguay have four and Colombia and Chile, who play Peru in Lima later on Tuesday, have three.

Without the injured Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez was tasked with leading the Argentina attack in Asuncion and headed a good Angel Di Maria cross just over the bar.

Tevez then suffered a broken nose early in the second half when he was hit by defender Victor Caceres's elbow going for a high ball and spent four minutes being bandaged up before returning the fray.

He was eventually substituted in the 75th minute.

Uruguay moved top of the group after an easy win over Colombia side missing James Rodriguez and who had Juan Cuadrado sent off in the dying moments at the Centenario.

They took the lead after 33 minutes when centre back Godin rose to bullet home a header from a Carlos Sanchez corner kick.

Rolan added a second six minutes into the second half when he took a cross from Nicolas Lodeiro and deftly chipped the ball over Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina.

Hernandez got a third after 87 minutes when he wrestled free from a defender and hammered home from a tight angle.

Ecuador, still on a high after their win in Buenos Aires, overcame the elements and a stuffy Bolivia side to win in Quito.

Torrential rain made the pitch almost unplayable during the opening period with huge puddles dotting the surface.

But the rain eased in the second half and Miller Bolanos got the first goal in the 81st minute when he played a one-two with Juan Cazares and skilfully slipped the ball under the advancing goalkeeper.

Felipe Caicedo added a second from the penalty spot in injury time after he was felled in the box.

All 10 South American teams play each other home and away with the top four qualifying automatically and the fifth-placed team going into a play off.

Brazil, who lost in Chile last week, are currently in action against Venezuela.