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Argentina focused on attack against Peru

07 October, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Bolivia vs Brazil CONMEBOL WC Qualifiers – Watch Live Online, TV Schedule October 5, 2017

Argentina and Lionel Messi are on the verge of missing the World Cup after stumbling to a 0-0 draw against Peru in Buenos Aires.

The first four teams in the standings qualify automatically, with the fifth-placed side going into a playoff against New Zealand in November.

Argentina now lie on fifth place in the South American qualifiers' points table with 24 points.

Only the top four teams in the South America group are guaranteed to be on their way to Russian Federation next year.

Not only are Argentina on the verge of missing out on qualifying for the World Cup for the first time in almost 50 years, their inability to score in CONMEBOL qualifiers is also reaching historic lows.

It leaves the Colombians and third-placed Chile, who beat Ecuador 2-1, a point clear of Peru and Argentina.

"The team is furious, but when we win in Ecuador, we go to world Championship", said national coach Jorge Sampaoli defiantly.

Or have they left it too late?

But Oscar Cardozo struck one minute from time, and Antonio Sanabria fired home two minutes later to give the Paraguayans the improbable win. Despite the fact that Argentina are struggling to qualify, the South Americans are still the fifth favourites to win next year's tournament at odds of 12/1.

So accustomed to relentless success with Barcelona over the years, Lionel Messi has been made to suffer on the worldwide stage with Argentina.

Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi was chosen to lead the line in Argentina's last two qualifying matches, but Benedetto would be a popular choice at a hyped-up and sold-out Bombonera.

In Santiago, Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez struck with five minutes left after Ecuador's Romario Ibarra cancelled out Eduardo Vargas's opener.

Argentina travel to eighth-placed Ecuador on the final day, for what is a hard road trip, while Paraguay technically have the easiest task, playing bottom of the table Venezuela at home.

Germany, the four-time world champion, also maintained its proud unbeaten away record in World Cup qualifiers - a run spanning an incredible 47 matches dating back to 1934.

Argentina were already struggling, sitting fifth just behind Peru going into the game, but have now dropped out of even the play-off position's after failing to win at La Bombonera, seeing Chile leap-frog them thanks to a late Alexis Sanchez victor against Ecuador.

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