Argentina beats Paraguay 3-1 in WCup qualifying

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CORDOBA, Argentina (AP) -Lionel Messi hit a post twice before scoring a splendid free kick goal as Argentina beat Paraguay 3-1 on Friday to grab the sole lead in the South American World Cup qualifying.

Real Madrid pair Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain scored in the second and 30th minutes respectively for Argentina, each side of a Jonathan Fabbro penalty for Paraguay which had locked the game 1-1.

Messi scored on a precise free kick in the 65th minute. Before scoring, the Barcelona star hit a free kick and a right-wing shot in the posts.

Argentina now leads South American qualifying with 13 points followed by Chile and Ecuador on 12 and Uruguay on 11.

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