Argentina earn draw in Ecuador as Mascherano sees red


Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring the penalty that gave Argentina the early lead

In the altitude of Quito and still with captain, Lionel Messi deemed only fit enough for the bench Argentina earned a valuable point in one of world football’s more difficult away trips. The point means that Argentina are now guaranteed at least a play off spot for the World Cup Qualifiers and so the tickets to Brasil 2014 are almost booked. It only took 3 minutes for Argentina to lead in Quito after Rodrigo Palacio was brought down by goalkeeper, Alexander Dominguez. A penalty was considered sufficient punishment, although perhaps by the letter of the law maybe a red card should also have been brandished, and Sergio Aguero gratefully sent Dominguez the wrong way with his spot kick. Ecuador remained a constant threat, particularly the dangerous, Jefferson Montero, who gave young full back, Gino Peruzzi, a torrid time. It came as little surprise when Segundo Castillo headed the equiliser after 17 minutes. The game remained locked at 1-1 and Sabella threw on Messi, as he did against Colombia to try and win the game but sadly for Argentina it was left to Javier Mascherano to steal the headlines. With 3 minutes remaining, the Barcelona midfielder was shown a red card for an inexplicable kick aimed at the driver of the stretcher buggy as he was being driven off the pitch. Mascherano has since apologised for this and explained that the driver was going too fast! VIDEO OF THE GOALS AND THAT INCIDENT HERE….

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