World Cup Qualifiers 2018 
October 5, 2017, 7:30 pm
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El Monumental

Match Report

For a third consecutive match, it’s another draw and Argentina are in trouble.

No Mauro ICARDI, no Paulo DYBALA, no Sergio AGUERO as it was Dario BENEDETTO up front with Lionel MESSI. The talk of La Bombonera hosting the match took center stage and while the atmosphere was there and the fans were (for the most part) into it, the goals still lacked.

Argentina created several chances, most of which came through Lionel MESSI. The number 10 set up BENENEDETTO (after the former received a pass from his Barcelona team mate Javier MASCHERANO) right before half time but the Boca man’s header went over the bar. Seconds into the second half, MASCHERANO knifed a ball in to MESSI who found BENEDETTO but his shoved was saved by the goalkeeper. MESSI pounced on the rebound but the ball hit the post.

Second half brought more mysery. After RIGONI came in for Angel DI MARIA at half time, Fernando GAGO was substituted on for Ever BANEGA. GAGO has to be up there as the most unluckiest of players when it comes to injuries because minutes after coming on, Fernando was substituted off due to injury. The ultimate substitute was Enzo PEREZ coming on for him.

The team huffed and puffed but no goals. Peru had their first chance and it was a dangerous one in the 91st minute as they had a free kick which was saved by Sergio ROMERO, who had nothing to do all match.

The current table leaves Argentina in 6th place, outside of a playoff spot. Here’s the table:

CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers
The current CONMEBOL South American World Cup Qualifiers (Photo via Bleacher Report)

Here are the possible scenarios for Argentina, heading into their final World Cup Qualifier against Ecuador on Tuesday if they want to qualify:

An Argentina win against Ecuador would automatically guarantee them at the very least a playoff spot.
An Argentina draw would mean Paraguar would have to lose and there would have to be a winner between Peru and Colombia.
An Argentina loss would mean Peru has to lose by at least 2 goals and Paraguay would have to lose.

Those are the three scenarios. Should Argentina win, they guarantee at least a playoff match against New Zealand in November. Here are the matches for Tuesday:

CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers
Matches for Round 18 of CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers (Photo via Data Factory).

It’s now do or die for Jorge SAMPAOLI and Argentina.