A World Cup would not be the same without Argentina

A World Cup would not be the same without Argentinaā€¯

Argentina host Peru in Thursday evening's crucial World Cup qualifier, with Jorge Sampaoli's men now on course for play-off with New Zealand.

The top four teams in the CONMEBOL group will earn a direct berth in Russian Federation while the fifth-ranked side will advance to an intercontinental playoff against New Zealand.

With Ecuador scoring a late equalizer against Chile in Santiago and Paraguay doing likewise against Colombia, Argentina would head into the final match - away to Ecuador - with high hopes of qualifying automatically for Russian Federation 2018.

It's a fight between Chile, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay for the final three slots.

Following the draw with Peru, Sampaoli, who faces the sack if Argentina do not make it to the World Cup, said: 'Today Argentina was far superior to Peru, playing with a lot of authority.

Only time will tell if Argentina can dig themselves out of the mess they are now in.

As for Peru, Thursday's draw left it a win away from automatic qualification. They went five home games without a win in the two previous qualifying cycles combined and, in that span, lost just once at home, falling 3-1 to Brazil on September 5, 2009.

On top of that, it looks like Gago's place at the World Cup is in doubt after It confirmed that he had suffered rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament and internal lateral ligament of his right knee.

But there was no bigger blow for the world No. 4 side than being in danger of missing their first World Cup Finals since 1970. All they have to do is beat the already eliminated Ecuadorians to keep their World Cup dream alive.

Thursday's draw with Peru will give Argentina's fans little cause for optimism as the familiar failings in front of goal once again dogged Jorge Sampaoli's side. I'm defending my belief that we will be in World Cup.

They are in sixth place, with the top four teams advancing automatically.

"It is true that now they are in a hard situation, which is the qualification in South America". "But qualifying now depends only on us, which is important".

In the Caribbean port city of Barranquilla, Radamel Falcao's deft chip over Paraguay goalkeeper Antony Silva put Colombia ahead in the 78th minute before Oscar Cardozo and Antonio Sanabria netted twice in three minutes to hand the visitors an unlikely victory.

But if Argentina draw, they will have to pray that Peru lose, seeing as they're on the same points (25) and have the same goal difference (+1).

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