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Messi, Higuain help Argentina down Chile

Santiago, Chile (Sports Network) - Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain scored three minutes apart in the first half to lift Argentina to a 2-0 win over Chile at the Estadio Nacional Julio Martinez in World Cup qualifying action on Tuesday.

Messi bagged what turned out to be the game-winner in the 27th minute, finishing off a chance created by Fernando Gago.

Higuain, who was questionable to play in the match after sustaining a minor injury in Argentina's defeat of Uruguay on Friday, extended the lead at the half-hour mark.

Argentina staved off some late pressure from Chile to extend its lead atop the CONMEBOL table, improving to 20 points through nine games. Chile remains stuck on 12 points.

In other CONMEBOL action on Tuesday, Bolivia cruised to a 4-1 defeat of Uruguay, Paraguay earned a 1-0 win over Peru, and Venezuela played to a 1-1 draw with Ecuador.

10/16 22:12:17 ET