World Cup Soccer
 
              === Messi helps Argentina secure World Cup place ===
 
 Asuncion, Paraguay (Sports Network) - Argentina booked a spot in next summer's
 World Cup in Brazil as Lionel Messi scored a pair of goals to lead his team to
 a 5-2 win at Paraguay on Tuesday.
 
 Argentina  kicked off Tuesday's game knowing that a win over Paraguay would be
 enough  to secure  a spot in the World  Cup, and Messi fired his team in front
 after just 12 minutes from the penalty spot.
 
 Ariel Nunez leveled the contest for Paraguay five minutes later, but Messi set
 up the go-ahead goal for Sergio Aguero in the 32nd minute.
 
 Angel  Di Maria made  it 3-1 to Argentina when he latched on to a through ball
 and  slotted  his shot past  goalkeeper Roberto  Fernandez early in the second
 half.
 
 Messi  was  then fouled by Paraguay's  Salustiano Candia inside the area a few
 minutes  later, and  the Barcelona man stepped  to the spot and fired home his
 second successful penalty kick to extend the lead to 4-1.
 
 Roque Santa Cruz pulled goal back for Paraguay in the 86th, but Maxi Rodriguez
 capped  the scoring  in the 90th for  Argentina to put an exclamation point on
 the evening.
 
 Colombia failed to clinch a World Cup place after losing 2-0 at Uruguay, which
 got  goals from Edinson  Cavani and Christian Stuani in the last 15 minutes to
 greatly improve its World Cup hopes.
 
 The  win moves Uruguay level on 22 points with fourth-place Ecuador, which was
 held to a 1-1 draw at Bolivia.
 
 Venezuela  kept its  hopes alive as well  after a 3-2 win over Peru, which has
 been eliminated with the loss.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 09/10 23:37:04 ET

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