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

Sampaoli knows his side have a tough task ahead of him in the next nine days

This Thursday, October 5, 2017 (4:30 PM Pacific) Argentina will host Peru at La Bombonera for a match in the CONMEBOL 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

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 in South American qualifying are guaranteed a place at the 2018 tournament in Russian Federation, and Argentina are sixth with one game left.

With Ecuador scoring a late equalizer against Chile in Santiago and Paraguay doing likewise against Colombia, Argentina would head into the final match - away to Ecuador - with high hopes of qualifying automatically for Russian Federation 2018.

Despite the 0-0 draw, one more round of qualifying fixtures remain, and Argentina will need to beat Ecuador in the thin air of Quito in the Andes if they are to have any hopes of boarding the plane to Russian Federation. The selecao are on 38 points, followed by Uruguay (28), Chile (26), Colombia (26), Peru (25), Argentina (25) and Paraguay (24).

"Our situation is not very comfortable", Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli admitted to reporters after the stalemate.

Alexis Sanchez was on hand just minutes later to score the victor from close range.

Oscar Cardozo bundled in the equaliser for Paraguay in the 89th minute and then Tony Sanabria punished poor goalkeeping by David Ospina to poke in a second in injury time to clinch the 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.

More news: Nuclear accord with Iran in USA interest: Mattis

"Barcelona and the Argentine team can't afford to spend even 10 minutes of the match with Leo not getting possession of the ball", Xavi said in an interview with Mundo Leo.

A trip to Ecuador and Quito for their last game will not be easy.

The two-time World Cup winners now face a daunting final match away to Ecuador in the altitude of Quito. A draw would more than likely give them a playoff place.

Elsewhere, a late victor by Alexis Sanchez helped Chile go above Argentina, who find themselves in sixth place with one game to go.

It means Argentina travel to already-eliminated Ecuador on Tuesday needing a win to have any chance of claiming an automatic qualifying place.

The All Whites will play the fifth place South American team between November 6-14, with the first leg in Wellington at Westpac Stadium.

Well, his place at the World Cup will be in doubt if Argentina actually manage to qualify.

Related News:



Most liked

Putin and Saudi king turn the page on decades of tensions
According to the Russian minister, the Russia-Saudi Arabia intergovernmental commission will meet in late October in Riyadh for the fifth time.

TransCanada Terminates Energy East Pipeline
June 16, 2016: The National Energy Board says it has officially started the clock on its review of Energy East . That's because the business case to build the pipeline has always been looking less than clear, he noted.

Whole Foods Probing Hack of Taprooms and Restaurants
Although the initial surge to Whole Foods has slipped, foot traffic remains up 4 per cent for the week ending September 16. Amazon .com, Inc. shares rose $3.65 (+0.38%) in premarket trading Thursday.

Pence: America must be 'dominant in space'
President Donald Trump ordered the National Space Council back into existence in June to "reinvigorate" the USA space program. He said the Space Council's mandate is to find a way to maintain 'a constant commercial, human presence in low-Earth orbit'.

Final Malaysia F1 race gets the Bullish ending it deserves
"We didn't go as far as we wanted but when it comes to performance and speed I think we're pretty happy", Raikkonen said. Grand Prix, a race yet to come, five times in the past six years and ended 2016 with four wins in a row.

LaVar Ball to home school son LaMelo for next two years
Didn't take long for former Arizona Wildcat forward Dennis Latimore to find himself in LaVar Ball's crosshairs. He's the No. 30 player overall and No. 5 point guard in the 2019 recruiting class, according to Scout .

Gran Turismo Sport Demo Announced, Will Start In October 9
The True HDR workflow and physics-based rendering tech of Scapes must be experienced firsthand to be truly appreciated. Gran Turismo Sport comes out in two weeks , but before its release, Polyphony Digital will give fans an early preview.

Gran Turismo Sport Demo Drives onto PS4 Next Week
For completing each trial, you'll get multiple rewards such as in-game currency, experience points, and even new vehicles. The True HDR workflow and physics-based rendering tech of Scapes must be experienced firsthand to be truly appreciated.

JUST IN: Oscar Pistorius family to take legal action over new film
In a statement released to the media, the Steenkamp family slammed reports that they had given their stamp of approval. A trailer shows the couple arguing, with Pistorius picking up a handgun and telling Steenkamp to "get back here".

Sturridge has gone downhill since Suarez left Liverpool, says Carragher
The event was hosted to recognise Gerrard's illustrious career, while raising £435,276 for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins. They start watching rather than noticing the centre-forward drifting off them.

UK's Monarch Airlines collapses after slump in pound's value
The CAA had been expected to announce today whether Monarch would be able to continue selling package holidays. Together with the CAA, we will work around the clock to ensure Monarch passengers get the support they need.

Liverpool legend says Daniel Sturridge is not the same player anymore
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed his side are still title challengers despite their poor form this autumn. The England worldwide started his third Premier League game of the season in yesterday's 1-1 draw at Newcastle .

Woman tied to Las Vegas massacre shooting suspect has Memphis connection
Paddock shot himself later that evening after having fired hundreds of bullets from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. Bruce Paddock, Stephen's other brother, was also shocked at his brother's ability to commit such a deadly crime.

Prince Harry: I'm married to continuing the Invictus Games
NBC Universal's security detail for Markle includes 24-hour monitoring in her home in Toronto and on the set of " Suits ". Markle's mom was also in attendance, according to People , which further indicates this relationship is serious.

Russian raids killed thousands in Syria since 2015: NGO
Islamic State (IS) militants recaptured the town of Al-Qaryataynin Syria's Homs Province in fierce counterattack. Displaced Syrians are pictured carrying water containers near Ain Issa camp.