Messi and Argentina suffer their first defeat in World Cup qualifiers

Uruguay dealt Argentina a blow by ending their 14-match unbeaten streak with a 2-0 victory in the World Cup qualifiers at Buenos Aires’ Alberto J. Armando Stadium on Friday.

Ronald Araújo netted in the 41st minute, followed by Darwin Núñez’s goal in the 86th minute, breaking Argentine goalie Emiliano Martínez’s impressive shutout streak of 751 minutes. This defeat marks Lionel Messi and Argentina’s first loss in the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign, since they were last stunned 2-1 by Saudi Arabia at the 2022 finals in Qatar.

“We had to lose someday, this happens,” Messi said after the game. Argentina, who had won all four of their opening qualifiers, remain on top of the standings with 12 points from five matches. Uruguay’s win leaves them in second place on 10 points.

Argentina had not relinquished a goal to their opponents in eight matches – four friendlies and four qualifying matches – since their thrilling victory over France in the World Cup final. Martínez won the Golden Glove at the World Cup, and the Yashin Trophy last month at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony as the best goalie in the game. But his streak, the longest in Argentina’s history, came to an end.