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ARGENTINA LEADS QUALIFYING

Argentina moved into first place in South American qualifying for the 1998 World Cup, beating visiting Venezuela, 2-0, Sunday on goals by Hernan Crespo and Pablo Paz.

At Buenos Aires, Crespo scored in the 30th minute and Paz in the 56th as Argentina (7-2-4) increased its points total to 25, moving two ahead of Paraguay (7-3-2), which dropped a 2-1 decision at Chile (5-3-4).

At Santiago, Ivan Zamorano scored in the eighth and 47th minutes in Chile's victory over Paraguay. Chile is fourth with 19 points. Hugo Brizuela scored for Paraguay.

Colombia (6-4-3), third with 21 points, stopped a five-game winless streak in World Cup play with a 1-0 victory over visiting Ecuador at Barranquilla. Antony De Avila scored in the 87th minute for Colombia, which had been 0-4-1 in qualifying since beating Venezuela on Dec. 15.

After the game, De Avila created a stir by dedicating the victory to jailed drug dealers.

"I'd like to dedicate the goal to all those who for some reason or another are deprived of their freedom. I'd like to dedicate it to Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez (Orejuela)," De Avila told reporters.

The jailed Rodriguez Orejuela brothers headed the Cali drug cartel, estimated to have been responsible for 80 percent of the world cocaine supply, before their capture in mid-1995.

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