Lionel Messi’s Argentina have been invincible since their 2022 FIFA World Cup opening match comeback defeat to Saudi Arabia and the eventual triumph at the quadrennial tournament after their penalty shootout win against France in the finale, but even the world champions were forced to put a halt to their incredible 14-match winning streak in competitive matches and friendlies. Just a few hours ago, Lionel Messi‘s Argentina faced Uruguay and old friend Luis Suárez for Matchday 5 of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, and the visiting La Celeste managed to pull off a 2-0 upset over the defending winners at enemy territory.
Lionel Messi’s Argentina Faced Off with Luis Suárez’s Uruguay
Prior to their shocking defeat to the Saudis, Lionel Messi’s Argentina were on the verge of tying the world record of 37-game unbeaten streak set by current European champions Italy. La Albiceleste immediately went back to winning ways after one of the biggest upsets in the tournament history, going undefeated in six 2022 FIFA World Cup matches, four 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and four international friendlies before they hosted region rivals Uruguay at La Bombonera on Thursday night; World Cup-winning captain Messi was able to reunite with his former teammate and best friend Suárez in the match.
What stole the show for this Argentina-Uruguay clash was a scuffle after the opening 20 minutes, when a tough battle for possession ignited a fight between the Argentines and Uruguayans. The tension and flare bred the first goal in the 41st minute, and it was the visitors who drew first blood, courtesy of Ronald Araújo’s effort. The Barcelona player scored his first ever international goal by meeting a cross from teammate Matías Viña, who fought his way through before a perfect delivery for his compatriot.
The home side were clearly the worse team among the two and struggled to find an equaliser, and that meant Lionel Messi’s Argentina were in trouble. Liverpool striker Darwin Núñez would go on to break the Argentines’ hearts with his 87th-minute goal that sealed the victory, when Nicolás de la Cruz’s through ball allowed him to break free from Lionel Messi’s Argentina’s defence. The 24-year-old forward then ran half of the football field, before measuring his chances and scoring past 2023 Yashin Trophy winner Emiliano Martínez. The goal handled Lionel Messi’s Argentina their first loss in the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and the calendar year of 2023.
FT: Argentina 0-2 Uruguay.
1. Argentina (12)
2. Uruguay (10)
3. Colombia (9)
4. Venezuela (8) pic.twitter.com/pwhpdw8fY6
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) November 17, 2023
First Time Since 2015, Argentina and Brazil Lost On the Same Matchday in the World Cup Qualifiers
Lionel Messi’s Argentina were not the only South American football powerhouses who suffered a shocking defeat last night, as their arch-rivals Brazil also suffered an upset against Columbia. The five-time FIFA World Cup champions, who drew Venezuela and lost to Uruguay with a same score line as Lionel Messi’s Argentina, were defeated by Luis Díaz’s brace despite their opening goal in the 4th minute, meaning this is the first time since 2015 and only the second time in history that both Argentina and Brazil have lost on the same day in the World Cup Qualifiers. (Click here for everything you need to know about the Columbia-Brazil match)
To add insult to injury, Luis Díaz’s emotional goals last night and Brazil’s failure to win any of their last three games in the qualifying round caused the team to drop into fifth in the standings of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, and they will have to elevate their performances before it is too late. It is worth pointing out that Brazil is the only nation in history to have qualified all 22 editions of the FIFA World Cup, and they are currently five points behind nemesis Argentina, whom they will face in the next Matchday at Maracanã on Tuesday.
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