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CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying roundup: Goals everywhere as road teams shine

Argentina v Portugal - International Friendly

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 18: Angel Di Maria of Argentina in action during the International Friendly match between Argentina and Portugal at Old Trafford on November 18, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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CONMEBOL’s fifth match day of 2018 World Cup qualifying brought us all sorts of thrills, and that’s even before Brazil and Uruguay tangle on Friday.

Ecuador 2-2 Paraguay

The USMNT’s Copa America group opponent did a job on the road against previously unbeaten and undrawn Ecuador. West Ham’s Enner Valencia had put Ecuador up 1-0 early before Dario Lezcano of Ingolstadt scored on both sides of halftime. Jefferson Mena, however, nabbed an equalizer in stoppage time to claim a point for the group leaders.

[ MORE: CONCACAF World Cup qualifying preview ]

Chile 1-2 Argentina

What a start! Two teams that badly wanted a win came out in that sort of desperate manner, with Felipe Gutierrez pushing the hosts to a 10th minute lead before Angel Di Maria and Gabriel Mercado more than made up for it with a pair of goals by the 24th minute (the latter assisted, below, by some guy named Messi).

Take another look at that finish by Mercado. @Argentina storm in front. #WCQ

— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) March 25, 2016

The win is a big one for Argentina, which had picked up just five points through its first four matches. Clearly, Messi is back.Also, Chile not getting this call at home is shocking stuff. Maybe if he just hits the deck instead of trying to stay up? Woof.

Was this a penalty? @Argentina holding on. 1-2. #WCQ

— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) March 25, 2016

Bolivia 2-3 ColombiaThe Coffeemakers looked to have let a 2-0 lead go to waste when Juan Carlos Arce converted a penalty and Alejandro Chumacero struck twice in 12 second-half minutes to equalize at Estadio Hernando Siles. The home side’s hopes of a result lasted all the way into stoppage tme, where Monterrey midfielder Edwin Cardona found the winner.

Replay shows what could be offside on tying goal. #WCQ

— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) March 24, 2016

Still to play
Peru vs. Venezuela -- 10:15 p.m. ET Thursday
Brazil vs. Uruguay -- Friday

As it stands
Ecuador -- 13 points - 5 played
Uruguay -- 9 points -- 4 played
Paraguay -- 8 points -- 5 played
Argentina -- 8 points -- 5 played
Brazil -- 7 points -- 4 played
Chile -- 7 points -- 5 played
Colombia -- 7 points -- 5 played
Bolivia -- 3 points -- 5 played
Peru -- 3 points -- 4 played
Venezuela -- 0 points -- 5 played

Follow @NicholasMendola