Argentina Are In Big Trouble After Latest World Cup Qualifying Result
Oct 07 2017 by Dustin Murphy
Chile beat Ecuador 2-1 in Santiago to revive their hopes while Argentina continued their disappointing form with a goalless draw in Buenos Aires against Peru to leave their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification hopes hanging by a thread.
Chile, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay are separated by two points in the middle of the table, with any of them in contention to finish fifth when qualifying concludes on Wednesday (NZT) next week. Only the top four teams qualify automatically with the fifth placed team going into a two-legged playoff against New Zealand.
The two-time World Cup winners must win their final South American zone qualifier in Ecuador on Tuesday to avoid missing the quadrennial event for the first time since 1970, reports Xinhua news agency.
Meanwhile, a late victor by Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez helped Chile beat Ecuador 2-1 to leapfrog Argentina in the qualifying table into fifth place.
The former Sevilla boss said: "I remain confident we'll be in the World Cup".
Bolivia keeper Carlos Lampe made 11 saves in the match - the most by any keeper over the past two CONMEBOL qualifying cycles - as the hosts held on for a hard-fought point against the five-time champions.
It is highly hard to understand how they have struggled so badly to qualify for next year's tournament with the talent in their squad. But if they lose, they will fail to qualify if both Argentina and Paraguay win.
Lionel Messi and Argentina need some help to qualify for the World Cup.
However, a worst case scenario does exist for them: if Chile and Argentina win, and there is a victor in the Peru vs Colombia game this will be enough for them to go out of the competition.
Messi and Co then travel to Ecuador in their final group game as they continue their attempt turning around a miserable string of performances under former Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli.
The most damning statistic is that 456 minutes have passed since an Argentina player scored a competitive goal in open play.
"Messi was very intense, the way we need him". Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela do not stand a chance of qualifying as they are too far behind to leapfrog the mid-table teams.
"I think Argentina are capable of winning the World Cup next year", he added.
Bolivia have won just four of their 17 matches, so expect to see Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Godin in Russian Federation next year.