The runners-up of last year’s world cup in Brazil are on the verge of missing next year’s World Cup in Russia and all comes down to their last qualifier against Ecuador. A FIFA World Cup without Lionel Messi’s Argentina will be a sour one as Netherlands and Wales are the recent ones to miss a on a ticket to Russia. But, there are many conditions if Argentina wants to qualify for the world cup and meeting those will be a tough task for them against a team who have nothing to lose.

Argentina has last chance in their hands as they travel to Quito to take on Ecuador in their final World Cup qualifier. Jorge Sampaoli’s side has now gone five competitive matches without any of their players scoring from the open play.

Argentina is on 6th position in the South American qualifying table, a position that would leave them sitting at home during the next summer’s World Cup. But, there is a silver lining which is that, fifth placed Peru & fourth placed Colombia play each other in Lima on the final day. The Peruvians are ahead of Argentina on goals scored, while the Colombians are a point ahead of Jorge Sampaoli’s men.

That means if Argentina beat already-eliminated Ecuador in the altitude of Quito they will secure at least a play-off spot against New Zealand. Whether they would get through automatically depends on other results.

The following would see Argentina able to book their flights to Russia with a win:

  • Peru and Colombia draw.
  • Peru beat Colombia by fewer goals than Argentina win by in Ecuador.
  • Chile fails to win in Brazil.

If Argentina draws, things get even more complicated. The following results would see them qualify for the World Cup:

  • Colombia beat Peru AND Chile lose by two clear goals against Brazil
  • Colombia beat Peru AND Paraguay fail to beat Venezuela at home
  • Peru beat Colombia by two clear goals AND Chile lose by two clear goals against Brazil
  • Peru beat Colombia by two clear goals AND Paraguay fail to beat Venezuela
  • Peru and Colombia draw AND Chile lose by two clear goals in Brazil AND Paraguay fail to beat Venezuela

A draw would be enough for the play-off against New Zealand if one of the following scenarios occurred:

  • Colombia beat Peru AND Chile lose by two clear goals in Brazil OR Paraguay fail to beat Venezuela
  • Peru beat Colombia by two clear goals AND Chile lose by two clear goals in Brazil OR Paraguay fail to beat Venezuela
  • Peru and Colombia draw AND Chile lose by two clear goals in Brazil AND Paraguay fail to beat Venezuela
  • Peru beat Colombia by one goal AND Chile lose by two clear goals in Brazil AND Paraguay fail to beat Venezuela

Argentina would not be able to finish higher than 5th with a loss, so Chile’s result in Brazil would become irrelevant. Only one set of results would allow Argentina to reach the play-offs with a loss.

  • Peru lose to Colombia by a greater margin than Argentina’s loss to Ecuador AND Paraguay fail to beat Venezuela

Jorge Sampaoli is without star striker Sergio Aguero vs Ecuador because of his recent car accident. Boca Juniors striker Dario Benedetto was favored up front against Peru, but it is possible that Paulo Dybala or Mauro Icardi could re-enter Sampaoli’s thinking in Ecuador.

 

Images Sources: Google Images

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