Colombia and Ecuador racked up impressive home wins in South American World Cup qualifying on Friday, only to be overshadowed by Lionel Messi and his surging Argentina teammates.
Messi scored two goals and Sergio Aguero added another to overpower Uruguay 3-0, keeping the Argentines in first place in the qualifying standings for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Argentina has 17 points, one more than Colombia and Ecuador and five ahead of Uruguay and Chile. The top four teams qualify directly for Brazil 2014 while the fifth-place team faces a playoff against an Asian team. As host, Brazil does not need to qualify.
Colombia defeated Paraguay 2-0, with Radamel Falcao scoring two second-half goals, while Ecuador defeated Chile 3-1 with Felipe Caicedo scoring either side of halftime and Segundo Castillo adding a late goal.
Bolivia was held 1-1 at home by Peru in a result that did little to boost the qualification prospects of either of the two struggling teams.
Messi, who has largely fa...