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2026 WCQ: Otamendi’s Goal Earns Argentina Victory Over Paraguay

2026 WCQ: Otamendi’s Goal Earns Argentina Victory Over Paraguay

The Albiceleste (Sky Blue) of Argentina defeated Paraguay 1-0 in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday, October 13 at the Estadio Mas Monumental.

Nicolas Otamendi scored the only goal of the match in the third minute with a stunning volley after Rodrigo De Paul’s corner kick.

Lionel Messi made his return to action in the game after being sidelined for many weeks due to injury.

He came on for Manchester City striker Julian Alvarez in the 53rd minute.

 

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The 36 year old forward hit the woodwork twice after his substitution.

Otamendi started the match wearing the captain’s armband as Lionel Messi was on the bench.

When Messi came on Otamendi ran towards the seven time Ballon d’Or winner to give him the armband.

However Messi waved his hand at Otamendi not to bother but the defender insisted on giving him the armband.

The Inter Miami winger reluctantly agreed to accept the wrist band after light banter with Otamendi.

Argentina have a 100 percent record in the ongoing World Cup qualifiers as they have three wins out of three.

They are currently first place in the CONMEBOL qualifying series with nine points from three matches.

The Albiceleste have won the FIFA World Cup three times (Argentina 1978, Mexico 1986 and Qatar 2022).


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