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Messi leads first-place Argentina
June 4th, 2012 1:31AM

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TAGS:  argentina, world cup 2014

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[WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING] Lionel Messi had one of best games for Argentina in a while as it crushed Ecuador, 4-0, in Buenos Aires to maintain first place in the South American zone of World Cup 2014 qualifying

Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Messi all scored for Argentina, which put the game away early.

Asia champion Japan opened up the final round of World Cup qualifying in Asia with a 3-0 win over Oman before 63,000 fans in Saitama on Sunday.

Reigning African champion Zambia didn't far as well as it fell in its qualifying opener at Sudan, 2-0, on goals from Mohammed Altahir and Saif aldeen Mohammed.

Chelsea stars Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou both scored as Ivory Coast opened its World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win over Tanzania. The game came just six days after the Elephants fired Francois Zahoui and replaced him with former French international Sabri Lamouchi.

SOUTH AMERICA:
June 3
Peru 0 Colombia 1.
Goal: Rodriguez 51.
June 2
Argentina 4 Ecuador 0.
Goals: Aguero 20, Higuain 29, Messi 31, Di Maria 75.
Bolivia 0 Chile 2. Goals: Aranguiz 45+3, Vidal 83.
Uruguay 1 Venezuela 1. Goals: Forlan 39; own goal 85.

Standings:
PTS TEAM W-T-L +/-
10 Argentina 3-1-1 11/4
9 Chile 3-0-2 9/10
8 Uruguay2-2-0 10/4
8 Venezuela 2-2-1 4/4
6 Ecuador 2-0-2 4/6
7 Colombia 2-1-1 5/4
4 Paraguay 1-1-2 3/6
3 Peru 1-0-3 4/7
1 Bolivia 0-1-4 4/10

AFRICA:
Group A
June 3
South Africa 1 Ethiopia 1. Goals: Mphela 77; Saladin 30.
Central African Republic 2 Botswana 0. Goals: Kethevoama 18, 57.

Group B
June 3
Tunisia 3 Equatorial Guinea 1.
Goals: Jemaa 51, Harbaoui 56, Hammami 88; Epitie 34.
Sierra Leone 2 Cap Verdes Islands 1. Goals: Kamara 10, Suma 26; Ze Luis 90.

Group C
June 3
Ivory Coast 2 Tanzania 0.
Goals: Kalou 9, Drogba 79.
Gambia 1 Morocco 1. Goals: Jammeh 16; Kharja 76.

Group D

June 2
Sudan 0 Zambia 2.
Goals: Altahir 51, Mohammed 77.
June 1
Ghana 7 Lesotho 0. Goals: Muntari 15, Adiyiah 24, 48, J.Ayew 45, 88, Atsu 85, Akaminko 90.

Group E
June 3
Niger 0 Gabon 0.

June 2
Burkina Faso 0 Congo 0.

Group F
June 3
Nigeria 1 Namibia 0.
Goal: Uche 80.
June 2
Kenya 0 Malawi 0.

Group G
June 3
Zimbabwe 0 Guinea 1.
Goal: Ib.Traore 25.
June 1
Egypt 2 Mozambique 0.
Goals: Fathallah 56, Zidan 63.

Group H
June 3
Benin 1 Mali 0.
Goal : Omotoyossi 18.
June 2
Algeria 4 Rwanda 0. Goals : Feghouli 27, Soudani 32, 82, Slimani 79.

Group I
June 3
Togo 1 Libya 1.
Goals: Damessi 8; Zouay 14.
June 2
Cameroon 1 DR Congo 0. Goal: Choupo-Moting 54.

Group J
June 3
Angola 1 Uganda 1.
Goals : Djalma Santos 8; Okwi 87.
June 2
Senegal 3 Liberia 1. Goals: Balde 32, Ndoye 72, Sadio Mane 83; Doe 2.

ASIA:
Group A
June 3
Uzbekistan 0 Iran 1.
Goal: Khalatbari 90.
Lebanon 0 Qatar 1. Goal: Soria 64.
Group B
June 3
Japan 3 Oman 0.
Goals: Honda 12, Maeda 52, Okazaki 55.
Jordan 1 Iraq 1. Goals: Kassid 43; Akram 14.

OCEANIA:
June 1
New Zealand 1 Fiji 0.
Goal: Smith 9.



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