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Lautaro Martinez the savior as Argentina continues its unbeaten run

Argentina forward Lautaro Martinez. | PHOTO: Courtesy |

Argentina stretched their unbeaten streak to a record 25 matches after Lautaro Martinez secured a 1-0 victory over Peru in a CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup qualifying meeting.

Lautaro Martinez’s 43rd-minute goal settled the tie as Argentina stayed undefeated on the road to Qatar 2022 on Thursday night.

Peru had an open chance to snatch a point away from home, but Yoshimar Yotun’s 65th-minute penalty cannoned off the woodwork in Buenos Aires.

Lautaro Martinez

Argentina players join Lautaro Martinez (left) in celebrating his goal against Peru on Thursday night in a FIFA World Cup qualifying tie. | PHOTO: Courtesy |

Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina who are second in the standings temporarily moved within three points of leaders Brazil through 11 qualifying fixtures.

Argentina made a bright start to proceedings at the Monumental, with Rodrigo De Paul in the thick of the action as the hosts saw two shots flash across the goal inside the first four minutes.

Gianluca Lapadula’s stunning free-kick forced in-form Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez into an early save, while La Albiceleste found the back of the net in the ninth minute, but Cristian Romero’s header was ruled offside following a lengthy VAR review.

In a team headlined by Lionel Messi, De Paul continued to pull the strings with some wonderful passing and he was the center of Argentina’s opener prior to half-time.

De Paul played a neat one-two with Nahuel Molina and the latter picked out Lautaro Martinez, whose wonderful header beat Pedro Gallese to give Argentina the lead two minutes before the halftime break.

Argentina Vs Peru

Argentina players Lionel Messi (left) and Rodrigo De Paul. De Paul was the center stage for Argentina as they won 1-0 against Peru via a goal by Lautaro Martinez. | PHOTO: Courtesy |

Jefferson Farfan came off the bench to make his 100th international appearance for Peru, the 36-year-old becoming just the sixth player to reach the century club for Peru.

He made an immediate impact, earning a penalty after being brought down by Emiliano Martinez but Yotun rattled the crossbar with his spot-kick.

Messi was largely subdued by Peru, though his free-kick 20 minutes from the end forced a save from Gallese.

Argentina were on their knees when Scaloni took charge of the embattled South American giants. Now Copa America champions, Argentina have not lost in 25 matches stretching back to July 2019.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo De Paul has quickly become a key part of Scaloni’s XI. De Paul dazzled in the first half with 63 touches of the ball which was the most among both teams. He also earned four fouls while completing 36 passes and four crosses in the opening 45 minutes.

Peru have not gone 17 matches without winning against Argentina in World Cup qualifiers, dating back to 1985. The result condemned Peru to back-to-back defeats as they fight to qualify for next year’s showpiece.

With the international break now over, both teams will be back in action next month when Argentina travels to Uruguay on November 10, while Peru welcomes Bolivia on the same day.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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