Picture : Arturo Vidal scored now in 5 different World Cup Qualifiers (2010, 2014, 2018, 2022, 2026) !
Statistics on WC 2026 qualifiers in South America (match-day 1)
*Bolivia, with 1-5 defeat from Brazil, increased their world record of consecutive matches without winning away from home in World Cup qualifiers (65). This terrible streak began after a 7-1 victory against Venezuela on 18 July 1993.
*Argentina had the same start as in the qualification for Qatar 2022: they beat Ecuador 1-0, playing at the Monumental and with a goal from Messi.
*Argentina have 20 consecutive games without conceding goals in the first half among all competitions. The last time they conceded before the break was against Chile in January 2022 (goal by Ben Brereton).
*Argentina have 22 consecutive games without losing in the World Cup qualifiers (since 2017). It is their best such streak in history and third best overall in South American zone.
Two longest series are achieved by Brazil, 35 games (since 2015, ongoing) and 31 games (1954-1993).
The world record holder is Spain, undefeated in 66 World Cup qualifiers in a row between 1993 and 2021.
*Hernán Galíndez (Ecuador) became the first goalkeeper to receive more than one goal from a free kick from Lionel Messi in national team matches (2021 Copa América and 2023 WC qualifier).
*Uruguay have won their debut game in a World Cup qualifying campaign (3-1 vs Chile) for 12th time in a row (since the 1982 edition). This is longest such streak in the history of tournament.
The next series in this ranking is Germany’s from 1970 to 2022 (ongoing): 10 winning debuts in a row.
The streaks of 9 games were achieved by Italy (1934 to 1982), El Salvador (1982 to 2014) and China (1990 to 2022, ongoing).
*Arturo Vidal (Chile) and Lionel Messi have both scored goals in their debut games in 2026 WC qualification stage. Thus, they are now only 2 South American players in the history to score in 5 different World Cup qualifying editions (2010 to 2026).
In other confederations, there are 2 such players more, both in CONCACAF: Russell Latapy (Trinidad and Tobago) and Carlos Ruiz (Guatemala).
*Venezuela have lost (0-1 vs Colombia) their debut game in 13 of the 15 World Cup qualifying campaigns where they had taken part.
They only achieved points on the first match-day in the editions of 1978 (1-1 vs Uruguay in Caracas) and 2010 (1-0 away win vs Ecuador in Quito).
*Venezuela have conceded all 3 earliest goals since the second half kick-off in the whole history of the South American qualifiers:
from Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), after 13 seconds, on 6 October 2016;
from Rafael Borré (Colombia), after 16 seconds, on 8 September 2023;
from André Carrillo (Peru), after 25 seconds, on 23 March 2017.
*Rafael Borré has scored the very first goal of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. Last time a South American player has scored the first goal of a World Cup qualification stage was on 6 September 2003 (Kily González for Argentina against Chile).
*Paraguay (0-0 vs Peru) have only won 2 of their last 12 and scored in 1 of their last 5 World Cup home qualifiers.