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Lionel Messi-captained Argentina can still qualify, here's how

07 October, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Greg Wolfe
  • Peru stalemate leaves Argentina teetering on the brink

"It's true they're in a hard situation in South American qualifying, but we can all agree that if they qualify for the World Cup they will be one of the favourites".

The victor of the tie, played over two legs, will play one final qualifier against a team from the CONCACAF region for a place at Russian Federation 2018.

Dario Benedetto training with Argentina ahead of World Cup qualifying. "It would be really unfair if a group that put it all out there like they did does not advance".

Syrian players celebrate during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier Group A Final Round match against China in June.

Meanwhile, Uruguay missed clinching a spot in Russian Federation 2018 after a 0-0 stalemate in Venezuela.

Brazil, who have already secured their place in Russian Federation, were held to a 0-0 draw by Bolivia in La Paz, while Colombia missed out on securing a World Cup spot after losing 2-1 at home to Paraguay.

Chile were down in sixth place before Alexis Sanchez popped up with a late victor against Ecuador to see them rise up to third.

Nigeria remain on course to qualify for a third successive World Cup, a feat they have achieved only once before in their history. But it's still going to be hard.

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Tite's Brazil side, on the other hand, are already guaranteed qualification after 11 wins from 17.

Two goals in the last three minutes gave Paraguay a 2-1 win over Colombia.

Even then, everyone vaguely associated with football in Argentina needed to pass their thanks to Paraguay who remarkably mitigated the situation with a late comeback against Colombia. They have to beat Peru and Ecuador to finish in the top four, which has always been their ambition.

Here's where it gets confusing.

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.

As things stand, Brazil, Ururguay, Chile and Colombia occupy the automatic qualification positions, while the draw for Peru leaves them on course for a play-off.

That means Argentina goes into Tuesday's match needing a victory to guarantee advancement. "But we will go out determined to take a win because that is our mentality", PA Sport quoted coach Ricardo Gareca as saying.

Although the Argentines dominated most of the match, they were unable to find a way past fourth-placed Peru.

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