'Messi Must Win World Cup To Be Special'

Share

So, with three places for the direct qualification up for grabs fans will be excited to catch the final round of games.

Renato Cesarini and Humberto Maschio were both dismissed, leaving Adolfo Pedernera to take charge of the 1970 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The match against Peru was typical of so many Argentina matches in the Messi era.

Current form does not bode at all well, with Argentina failing to win any of their last four games and not winning a qualifier away from home since March 2016, when they triumphed 2-1 in Chile. For that to happen, Paraguay must fail to beat Venezuela, and Peru must lose to Colombia by a larger margin than the margin of Argentina's loss.

Oswaldo Ramirez put Peru 1-0 and 2-1 ahead, before Alberto Rendo made it 2-2 in the 89th minute.

As for the rest, no one has a clearer path to Russian Federation than Uruguay, who lie second on 28 points.

The phrase 'must-win-match' is often used premiscuously.

While Argentina are riding a four-game winless streak, Ecuador have lost their past five qualifying matches.

They sit sixth in the qualification table and must be in the top four to progress straight to Russian Federation, while a fifth-place finish will seem them face an inter-confederation play-off.

More news: Amber Alert issued for abducted 3-year-old Texas girl

In case of a draw, Argentina will need other results to go in their favour as well.

Argentina's draw sets up a nail-biting South American group finale this week, with only two points separating third-placed Chile and seventh-placed Paraguay. A win will guarantee them a play-off berth and possibly a direct place, depending on how Peru and Chile fare. While the Seleção have nothing to play for, they sent out a quality team to play Bolivia on Thursday (though they promptly drew 0-0). If not, they will have to face the lottery of the play-offs. Their only absentee is the injured Fernando Gago.

And between 1967 and 1969, Argentina also operated a managerial revolving door. La Albirroja will be without the suspended Richard Ortiz.

Kempes, who won the World Cup on home turf in 1978, said "a World Cup without Argentina and without Messi would be a catastrophe", to Súper Deportivo Radio de Santa Fe, a statement later picked up by FourFourTwo.

Chile have been poor in the qualifying campaign, and are on the brink of elimination heading into their final game.

The only difference between 1969 and 2017 is this time Argentina have one more chance.

The head of world football's governing body drew the comparison to the Barcelona star's compatriot Diego Maradona - who won the World Cup for Argentina alongside great success at club level. Los Cafeteros are in for sure with a win.

"We're not anxious about the other games".

Share