Argentina Could Miss 2018 World Cup After Draw with Peru

Saturday, 07 Oct, 2017

Led by Barcelona star Lionel Messi, the Argentines failed to convert a number of chances and now find themselves in sixth place in the South American qualifying group for the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup, level with Peru on 25 points but behind on goal difference.

Buenos Aires: Argentina football coach Jorge Sampaoli said he believes his team will participate in next year's FIFA World Cup despite a goalless draw with Peru that left them outside the qualification places. "Throughout the game we had a marked advantage against them but we could not break through". But Argentina have been so woeful that it is wildly optimistic to expect anything from them in Ecuador purely on the basis of their reputations. I remain confident we'll be in the World Cup.

Paulo Dybala admits it "is not easy" for him to play in the same attack as Lionel Messi as their games are too similar.

The Argentine national team must win in Quito and at the same time receive help from others. They have, however struggled for goals in the qualifiers. The fifth-place team can advance by winning a two-leg playoff with New Zealand.

A win at high altitude in Quito would give Argentina at least a play-off match with New Zealand, but if Colombia or Chile draw, they will qualify for Russian Federation automatically.

Heading into the second-to-last matchday, we thought we knew everything about CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying.

The stakes couldn't have been higher for Argentina and Peru as they faced each other last night.

There were some bright moments, but once again Argentina were left to rue missed chances and looked totally dependent on Messi.

Coming up against Peru on Thursday evening, Messi and friends could only muster a 0-0 draw, leaving them in an even more perilous position when it comes to a qualifying spot.

They can still lose to Peru and qualify if Chile lose more heavily to Brazil, if Argentina lose or draw and if Paraguay fail to beat Venezuela.

After their appearance in the final of the last tournament, no one expected Argentina to be absent from the next World Cup. Literally, any of six teams could finish in the three automatic and one play-off spot, with Brazil already booking their place by topping the group. Brazil sits at the top of qualifying on 38 points, followed by Uruguay with 28 points, Chile with 26 points, Colombia with 26, Peru with 25, Argentina with 25 and Paraguay with 24.