South American linesmen are forced to use florescent COATS tied to cut-off BROOM HANDLES after leaving their flags for Chile’s World Cup qualifier against Argentina back at their hotel

Bungling linesmen had to start Chile’s World Cup qualifier match against Argentina with florescent jackets tied to cut-off broom handles after forgetting their proper flags in their hotel

Brazilians Fabricio Vilarinho and Rodrigo Figueiredo realised their embarrassing gaffe once they had reached the stadium and had to improvise the homemade solution to ensure they could help the ref control the game.

TV images showed the DIY flags the two men were using as watching fans admitted they had been left speechless.

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One football follower wrote alongside footage of one of the assistants raising his stick with the fluorescent yellow bib on it, like the one worn by police and road workers: ‘Football in South America. The linesman’s flag is a reflective jacket. This is happening right now in Chile against Argentina.’

Local reports said the blundering linesmen had left the ‘essential tools of their trade’ at their hotel and realised they had a problem they needed to fix once they were at the Zorros del Desierto stadium in the Chilean city of Calama.

Chile lost 2-1 to their South American neighbours, with Paris Saint-Germain star Angel Di Maria scoring a superb opening goal for Argentina.

Chile’s English-born striker Ben Brereton Diaz equalised just over 10 minutes later when he sent a fine looping header over goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Argentina then took advantage of an injury to Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to seal the win 11 minutes before half time.

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Bravo was preparing to be substituted when Rodrigo de Paul fired in a fierce drive from 30 metres, and with the goalkeeper only able to parry the shot Lautaro Martinez followed up to slot home the rebound.

Argentina had already qualified for the 2022 World Cup but Thursday night’s defeat left Chile on the ropes.

Chile will make a last-gasp attempt to qualify for Qatar on Tuesday against Bolivia in La Paz.

The top four qualify automatically and the fifth-placed team goes into a playoff with a side from the Asian confederation.

Leaders Brazil and second-placed Argentina have already qualified and Ecuador, who are third with 24 points, are almost certain to join them.

‘We knew it was going to be difficult at high altitude and after a long flight,’ said Di Maria. ‘The important thing is that we come away with a win.

Everything is always much easier when Leo is here. The important thing is that we keep working like we’ve been doing and bringing joy to Argentines.’

The result, which was also achieved without the presence of talismanic coach Lionel Scaloni and star man Lionel Messi – who were isolating at home due to COVID-19 and rested respectively, marks Argentina’s 28th game without defeat

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