Argentina moved into first place in South American qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, routing Chile 4-1 in its opener Wednesday night as Juan Sebastian Veron scored two goals, and Gabriel Batistuta and Claudio Lopez added one each.

Argentina, the World Cup champion in 1978 and 1986, went agead in the 10th minute at Buenos Aires when Batistuta curled in a free kick. Rodrigo Tello tied it in the 29th minute, with a nearly identical, swerving free kick.

Veron scored six minutes later off a soft pass from Claudio Lopez, then converted a penalty kick in the 77th after Tello tripped up Ariel Ortega, who was cutting toward the goal after a pass from Batistuta. Lopez got the final goal in the 88th.

At Montevideo, Pablo Garcia scored on a long-range shot to lift Uruguay to a 1-0 win over visiting Bolivia.

Garcia scored in the 26th minute and Uruguay held off an energized Bolivia to help new coach Daniel Passarella earn his first victory as the Uruguayan national team coach.

Collecting a loose ball and using a slight hesitation move to elude a lunging defender, Garcia fired a left-footed shot into the net.

In Quito, Ecuador overcame an ejection to beat Venezuela 2-0 at home, getting goals from Agustin Delgado and Alex Aguinaga.

Delgado scored in the 17th minute, deflected the ball past goalkeeper Rafael Dudamel off a free kick by Aguinaga, who scored six minutes into the second half on a low shot.

Ecuador defender Alberto Montano was ejected in the 27th minute for a foul against Javier Villafraz.

The two nations are the only South American counties never to qualify for the World Cup.

In a late game, Paraguay was at Peru. On Tuesday night, four-time World Cup champion Brazil played a scoreless tie at Colombia.