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Argentina stays on top; Colombia, Ecuador closing

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina stayed atop South America's World Cup qualifying standings with a 1-1 draw against Peru on Tuesday, salvaging a point from a match the Gauchos deserved to lose.

Argentina has 14 points from seven matches but can't afford to relax, as Colombia and Ecuador moved within a point. Colombia won 3-1 at Chile — four days after beating South American champion Uruguay 4-0 — and Ecuador drew 1-1 at Uruguay.

The big loser was Paraguay, which was beaten 2-0 at home by Venezuela. Paraguay reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup two years ago, but has only 4 points and is bottom of the standings. Venezuela, the only South American team never to have qualified for the World Cup, has 11 points and stayed in the mix.