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Mixed fortunes for Barcelona trio in World Cup qualifying

Wins for USA and Uruguay but Brazil were held

Paraguay v Uruguay - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier Photo by Luis Vera/Getty Images

Barcelona have three players away on international duty for World Cup qualifying currently with Dani Alves, Sergino Dest, and Ronald Araujo all in action on Thursday.

Alves is back with the Brazil squad and come on as a substitute early in the first half of a chaotic 1-1 draw against Ecuador in Quito.

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro put Brazil, who have already qualified, ahead in the fifth minute with a close-range effort.

Things then got even worse for Ecuador when goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez was sent off 10 minutes later for a reckless challengs. Former Barca defender Emerson Royal followed him off the pitch shortly afterwards as both teams were reduced to 10 men.

Emerson’s sending off saw Alves arrive just after the half-hour mark with Philippe Coutinho the man to make way for Brazil.

Ecuador v Brazil - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier Photo by Santiago Arcos-Pool/Getty Images

The drama did not end there though. Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was shown two red cards in the match but had both rescinded by VAR. The first was after he caught Enner Valencia with a high boot and the second was for a late foul on Ayrton Preciado.

Yet despite it all Ecuador snatched a draw late on when Felix Torres headed home to rescue a point. The result keeps Ecuador in third, and on target to qualify, while Brazil go on to play Paraguay next.

Ronald Araujo’s Uruguay boosted their hopes of qualification with a 1-0 win in Paraguay. The Barcelona defender started the match and played all 90 minutes, helping his team keep a clean sheet.

Luis Suarez scored the only goal of the game in the 65th minute with a left-footed shot after a pass from Diego Godin.

Paraguay finished the game with 10 men after Gustavo Gomez picked up a second booking in stoppage time. The result means it’s a winning start for new Uruguay coach Diego Alonso.

Sergino Dest also enjoyed a clean sheet with the USMNT who also picked up all three points against El Salvador in a 1-0 win.

The Barcelona defender started the game and played all 90 minutes, while Antonee Robinson grabbed the winner early in the second half with just his second international goal.

The USMNT now face Canada next on Sunday in a big game at the top of the table and then host bottom side Honduras on Wednesday.

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