Argentina reach new low: 73 shots without a goal in WC qualifiers

Argentina reach new low: 73 shots without a goal in WC qualifiers

Argentina reach new low: 73 shots without a goal in WC qualifiers

They now sit sixth in the CONMEBOL qualification campaign and haven't won in four matches.

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.

It isn't that they've played badly, though, so much as that they've failed to capitalise on the chances that they've created.

Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and Nicolas Otamendi were seen shaking off their heavy legs on Friday morning after labouring to a 0-0 draw against Peru to leave their place at next year's tournament in serious doubt.

Messi also has not scored in his last three games making him a big problem for Argentina.

"We are in this situation but it is not comfortable", coach Jorge Sampaoli said as criticism grows.

The fact that Peru would not trust the water supply shows how important the game was for both sides. Argentina even moved this week's match to the famous La Bombonera stadium, the home of Boca Juniors, and it still provided no lift whatsoever. Replacing the unpopular Edgardo Bauza in May, the former Chile coach - heralded as Argentina's savior when he was appointed - has stumbled to three consecutive draws.

An 85th-minute victor from Alexis Sanchez on Thursday lifted Chile into third in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying with one game remaining.

Lionel Messi is in real danger missing the World Cup as his Argentina side lie outside the qualification spots with just an away trip to Ecuador to go.

"It was a hammer blow for Fernando", Sampaoli told a press conference.

Two clear chances for Dario Benedetto, another for Gómez and one for substitute Emiliano Rigoni were fashioned by Messi and squandered as frustration grew.

Colombia are one point ahead of Peru on 26 points and have a +1 goal difference advantage over them.

Colombia and Peru should also keep an eye on Paraguay who are below Argentina.

But despite their struggles, qualifying for the play-offs is still in the Albiceleste's hands.

Argentina can still lose and reach the playoffs, providing Peru suffer an even heavier defeat and Paraguay fail to win.

A draw in Lima would give them more points than the Peruvians and a seven-goal cushion over Paraguay, meaning that a play-off spot would be all but secured. Messi has four goals for the campaign from nine starts, Aguero has scored none, Higuain has barely played and not scored since the qualifier against Peru last October.

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