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The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

CONMEBOL: Tevez sees red as Argentina draw

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Argentina's indifferent World Cup qualifying campaign continued on Saturday when they were held 1-1 at home by Paraguay and had striker Carlos Tevez sent off early again.

The point kept Paraguay top of the 10-team South American group on 14 from seven games with Argentina two points behind in second place following their third draw in a row.

The last remaining winless and unbeaten records ended when Peru beat Venezuela 1-0 to move off the bottom and Colombia lost 1-0 at home to Uruguay, who jumped to third.

Brazil, away to Chile on Sunday, temporarily dropped to sixth and out of the qualifying places.

The top four teams qualify for South Africa in 2010 and the fifth plays off against a side from the CONCACAF region.

Tevez, sent off in the first half of the 2-1 defeat in Colombia in November for a petulant kick at an opponent, faces a ticking off from coach Alfio Basile after leaving his team in the lurch again.

The Manchester United forward, playing only his second international since then, was dismissed after two bad tackles in the first 31 minutes.

"I have to speak to him in private about these dismissals," said Basile.

"Everything was difficult. We played nearly the whole game with 10 men, our goalkeeper was injured and we conceded an own goal. So you can't really analyse this match in the normal way."

Tevez's red card came with Argentina trailing to a Gabriel Heinze own goal, the defender having headed past goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri as both tried to deal with a long ball into the area in the 13th minute.

Abbondanzieri suffered a deep cut to his knee as the pair collided and was replaced by Juan Pablo Carrizo.

Despite the setbacks, Argentina equalised in the 61st minute when substitute Sergio Aguero provided the finishing touch after Lionel Messi burst through the Paraguay midfield.

A 14th-minute header from Sebastian Eguren gave Uruguay their win in Bogota.

Although Colombia started ubeaten, four of their six previous games were goalless draws and they have only managed four goals.

"I think we controlled the match. Colombia were repetitive and you couldn't see them finding a way through," said Uruguay coach Oscar Washington Tabarez.

Peru, spurned by their disenchanted public and missing three key players, produced a surprisingly lively and confident display to beat Venezuela with a first-half goal from Piero Alva in Lima.

Forward Paolo Guerrero began a six-match international ban while Claudio Pizarro and Jefferson Farfan were left out by coach Jose Del Solar despite completing suspensions for indiscipline.

Peru were thumped 6-0 by Uruguay in June and only a few thousand spectators bothered to watch them on Saturday.

Bolivia had Alejandro Gomez sent off after only 18 minutes and coach Erwin Sanchez ordered from the touchline in the second half in a 3-1 defeat in Ecuador.

Felipe Caicedo fired Ecuador ahead in the 20th minute and, after Joaquin Botero volleyed an equaliser before halftime, they regained the lead with a controversial Edison Mendez penalty just after the break.

Christian Benitez completed the scoring in the 72nd minute.


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