Messi-Higuain show in Buenos Aires

[WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING: South America] Lionel Messi scored one goal and set up two Gonzalo Higuain goals to lead Argentina to a 3-0 win over Venezuela in South America's World Cup qualifying group. The win gives Argentina a 10-point cushion after 10 games. Colombia, a 5-0 winner over last-place Bolivia, and idle Ecuador sit in second and third place with a game in hand.

Messi's goal was his 32nd for Argentina, putting him only two behind Diego Maradona for third place behind Gabriel Batistuta (56) and Hernan Crespo (35).

Messi, who moved to Barcelona when he was 13, has had a complicated relation with Argentine fans, but he was was greeted by a thundering ovation from Buenos Aires fans at Monumental Stadium as he was presented his fourth Ballon d'Or award from Julio Grondona, president of the Argentine soccer federation and a FIFA vice president.

South America Standings:
Peru 1 Chile 0
Argentina 3 Venezuela 0
Uruguay 1 Paraguay 1 
Colombia 5  Bolivia 0

PTS TEAM W-T-L +/-
23 Argentina  7-2-1 23/7
19 Colombia 6-1-2 19/6
17 Ecuador 5-2-2 12/9
13 Uruguay  3-4-3 17/19
12 Venezuela 3-3-4 8/12
12 Chile 4-0-6 14/19
11 Peru 3-2-5 11/15
8 Bolivia 2-2-6 12/19
8 Paraguay 2-2-6 7/17

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