Argentina overcame the early loss of injured goalkeeper Nery Pumpido to beat the Soviet Union, 2-0, yesterday in Naples, keeping alive its chances of successfully defending the World Cup.

After a shocking loss to Cameroon in its opener, Argentina desperately needed to beat the Soviets in the Group B game. And led by Diego Maradona -- playing before the fans who idolize him for his role in carrying Napoli to the Italian league championship -- it did so convincingly, severely damaging the Soviets' chances of advancing.

Coach Carlos Bilardo made five lineup changes, and they paid off.

Pedro Troglio, one of the new starters, scored the first goal in the 27th minute, heading home a pass from Julio Olarticoechea, another new starter.

Jorge Burruchaga made it 2-0 when he took advantage of a defensive error in the 80th minute.

The Soviet Union played the final 42 minutes with 10 men after Vladimir Bessonov was ejected for first pulling, then pushing, Argentine striker Claudio Caniggia.

Pumpido, who backstopped Argentina to the 1986 title, was carried off on a stretcher with a double fracture of his right leg early in the first half. Sergio Goygochea replaced him and did well.

The injury occurred on a crossing pass by Soviet attacker Igor Dobrovolsky in the ninth minute. As Pumpido came out to challenge, Oleg Protasov collided with him and the ball went past. Pumpido stayed down.

The Soviets are down and nearly out of the tournament. Runners-up to the Netherlands for the European championship two years ago, they need a big victory over Cameroon in their final game, and even that probably wouldn't be enough to advance.

Uruguay 0, Spain 0: In Udine, Uruguay missed a second-half penalty kick and turned what should have been a victory over its World Cup Group E rival into a scoreless draw.

Uruguay dominated the match and attacked relentlessly in the second half. But forward Ruben Sosa fired the penalty kick over the crossbar in the 71st minute after Spanish midfielder Francisco Villarroya used his hand to clear defender Jose Herrera's header off the goal line.

The tie leaves both teams with one point in Group E, one fewer than Belgium, a 2-0 winner Tuesday over South Korea.

After Spain controlled the action in the early going, Uruguay took over behind midfielder Enzo Francescoli, who created several openings with his quick moves and deft passes. Uruguay had its best chance of the half in the 30th minute, but goalie Androni Zubizarreta stretched to tip Antonio Alzamendi's shot onto the crossbar.

Uruguay continued playing strongly in the second half. In the 48th minute, Zubizarreta blocked a wicked shot by Sosa. Ruben Paz controlled the rebound, but shot high.

The Spaniards then began playing even more defensively, and when the "hand" call was made it looked as if Uruguay would have its long-awaited goal.

Spain's playmaker, Michel, was frustrated by the Uruguayans. In the 52nd minute, he missed an open shot on a two-on-one inside the Uruguayan penalty area.