BUENOS AIRES, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Carlos Tevez was sent off
for the second time in three internationals as Argentina were
held to a 1-1 draw at home by Paraguay in a World Cup qualifier
Gabriel Heinze put through his own goal after only 13
minutes and Argentina were in further trouble when Tevez, sent
off in the 2-1 defeat in Colombia in November, was dismissed
again for two violent tackles in the 31st.
They managed to snatch a draw when substitute Sergio Aguero
scored from a chance set up by Lionel Messi just after the hour.
The draw kept Paraguay top of the 10-team South American
World Cup qualifying group with 14 points, two ahead of
It was the fifth time in a row that Paraguay, backed by a
large, rowdy contingent of fans, had drawn away to Argentina in
a World Cup qualifier.
Argentina made a lively start with Juan Roman Riquelme
bouncing a free kick off the Paraguay crossbar in the eighth
Their troubles began five minutes later when Paraguay
launched a long ball forward from midfield, Heinze misjudged the
situation under pressure from Nelson Haedo Valdez and headed the
ball past keeper Roberto Abbondanzieri into the goal.
Heinze also collided with Abbondanzieri, who was taken off
injured and replaced by Juan Pablo Carrizo.
Almost immediately, Tevez was lucky to escape with only a
yellow card for a sliding tackle from behind on Enrique Vera.
But there was no reprieve when he was booked again for a
studs-up challenge on Dario Veron.
Heinze was taken off at halftime along with Angel Di Maria
and newcomers Daniel Diaz and Aguero gave the hosts new life.
With the Paraguay crowd in full voice, Messi burst through
the heart of the Paraguay midfield in the 61st minute and
slipped the ball to Aguero, who placed the ball into the far
Argentina then enjoyed their best spell, creating several
clearcut chances, while Carrizo produced a superb save to turn
Haedo Valdez's header around the post.