A goal from the Barça forward secures three valuable points for Spain
Messi and Mascherano’s Argentina were held to a one-all draw away to Bolivia
Eight FC Barcelona players featured for Spain against France this evening at the Saint-Denis, and they came away with three very important points thanks to a second-half goal from Pedro. Messi and Mascherano came away with a one-all draw in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Bolivia. Nine out of FC Barcelona’s ten internationals were named to the starting line-ups of their respective teams, and eight of them (with the exception of Villa and Iniesta) played the entire 90 minutes.
Everyone but Cesc named to the starting line-up
Del Bosque sent out his squad at the Saint-Denis with seven FC Barcelona players in the starting line-up. Only Cesc started the match on the bench (he played the final 15 minutes of the game). Two Barça players, Pedro and Iniesta, were part of the most controversial play of the match: Iniesta passed the ball to the Barça forward, who was then brought down by Lloris in the France area. The referee deemed the play not worth of a penalty.
In the second half, Pedro once again threatened Lloris’ goal. The forward scored the match winner, after a good assist from Monreal, to send Spain to the top of the table of Group I.
Víctor Valdés also had a splendid match. He saved a one-on-one against Ribéry in the first half and another when France were reduced to ten men, near the end of the game.
Messi forgives the 1-2
Messi and Mascherano played the entire 90 minutes against Bolivia, in a match that was held at 3,650 metres above sea level. Argentina conceded early, as Moreno Martins fired Bolivia ahead after 28 minutes. Before the break, Banega brought Argentina level with a header.
Messi could have scored the match winner in the dying minutes of the game, but the Bolivian keeper denied the FC Barcelona star. Despite the draw, Argentina still enjoy a comfortable lead at the top of the table.