Soccer-Bolivia beat Messi-less Argentina 2-0 in qualifier

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Argentina, weakened by the last-minute suspension of Lionel Messi, had their chances of reaching next year's World Cup finals dealt a blow on Tuesday when they were beaten 2-0 by a spirited Bolivia side in La Paz.

The defeat in the high altitude of the Andean city, coupled with Colombia's 2-0 win away in Ecuador and Chile's 3-1 defeat of Venezuela, means the twice World Cup winners fall from third to fifth in the 10-team South American qualifying group.

Argentina were already without suspended regulars Javier Mascherano, Lucas Biglia and Gonzalo Higuain and their task was made even tougher when captain Messi was handed a four-match ban for swearing at a match official hours before the game started.

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