Argentina's Lionel Messi is seen at the end of the goalless 2018 World Cup qualifier football match against Peru in Buenos Aires on Oct. 5, 2017. Argentina's Lionel Messi is seen at the end of the goalless 2018 World Cup qualifier football match against Peru in Buenos Aires on Oct. 5, 2017.

6 chances for Messi and Argentina to qualify to 2018 World Cup

Sat, Oct. 7, 2017
CAIRO – 7 October 2017: Argentina's chances to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia are hanging by a thread after the scoreless draw against Peru on Friday.

Argentina is now in 6th place. The top 4 teams automatically qualify, and the 5th can qualify by winning a playoff against New Zealand.

Brazil has already qualified with 38 points, followed by: Uruguay (28), Chile (26), Colombia (26), Peru (25), Argentina (25) and Paraguay (24).
Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia are eliminated.

Argentina needs to win against Ecuador, because loss means official exclusion. A tie may be worthwhile in a single case.

If Argentina draws with Ecuador:

- If Peru loses against Colombia and Paraguay loses or draws against Venezuela,
Argentina will play in the playoffs.

If Argentina wins against Ecuador:

- If Chile doesn’t win against Brazil, Argentina will qualify automatically.
- If Colombia draws with Peru, Argentina will qualify automatically.
- If Colombia wins against Peru and Chile wins against Brazil, Argentina will play in the playoffs.
- If Peru wins against Colombia and Chile wins against Brazil, the goal difference for Argentina and Peru will determine the direct qualifier and who will play in the playoffs.

Currently, Peru and Argentina are equal in goal difference (+1), but Argentina excels in direct meetings, because Argentina drew away with Peru 2-2, and in their home stadium, they drew 0-0.

In other words, other than Brazil, everything remains wide open in South America.
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