Argentina lifted the gloom from a poor Copa America by routing Chile 4-1 in their opening 2014 soccer World Cup qualifier on Friday, while Uruguay also scored four to get their campaign off to a good start.
Gonzalo Higuain scored a hat-trick and Lionel Messi ended a 30-month goal drought for his country in competitive internationals, while Uruguay captain Diego Lugano scored twice in a 4-2 home victory over Bolivia.
Striker Paolo Guerrero got a double as Peru beat Paraguay 2-0 in Lima, while Ecuador beat Venezuela by the same score in Quito and Colombia had a bye.
Argentina got off to a fast start when the defense cleared a poor free-kick by Waldo Ponce and Angel Di Maria raced down to the other end where he passed to Higuain to open the scoring.
Higuain laid on the 25th-minute second goal for Messi, who had last scored for Argentina in a competitive match against Venezuela in Buenos Aires in March 2009.
Higuain added two more in the second half for his hat-trick and midfielder Matias Fernandez pulled one back on the hour for Chile, who had beaten Argentina for the first time in their previous meeting in Santiago in October 2008.
South American champions Uruguay, playing in a half-empty Centenario on a cold and rainy evening, ran up a 3-1 halftime lead after a third-minute opener from striker Luis Suarez.
Rudy Cardozo stunned Uruguay with a 17th minute equalizer before Lugano headed the home side back in front from Diego Forlan’s 25th-minute free-kick.
Edinson Cavani headed Uruguay’s third from Maxi Pereira’s cross and Lugano tapped in the fourth in the 71st when goalkeeper Carlos Arias could not hold Forlan’s shot.
Bolivia striker Marcelo Martins pulled another goal back with a late penalty.
Peru’s Guerrero scored in the 47th and 73rd minutes as he combined with fellow striker Claudio Pizarro.
With Ecuador winger Antonio Valencia inspirational, strikers Jaime Ayovi and Cristian Benitez scored in the opening half-hour at the Atahualpa, about 3,000m above sea level, against a Venezuela side lacking several first-choice players kept fresh for the home clash with Argentina on Tuesday.
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being
FULL GAME: Henry Sosa pitched nine innings for the Guardians, allowing only six hits all night, while the Monkeys’ offense were also shut out of their game Outfielder Lin An-ko carried a big bat this week — before his Uni-President Lions ran into the Fubon Guardians last night — blasting four home runs, including a grand slam as his side won four games in a row and moved into second on the CPBL table. However, the Lions could not sustain their super-charged offense for the whole week, as they were shut out 4-0 by the Guardians in New Taipei City. Fubon’s rookie catcher, Jhang Jin-de, took a page from Lin’s playbook. With two men on, Jhang smacked a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Henry Sosa of the Dominican Republic