How Argentina can still qualify for Russia 2018

Argentina's hope of reaching Russia next year is fading rapidly and they have the last chance on Tuesday.

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Argentina haven’t learned from their mistakes of South Africa 2010 qualifiers as they find themselves again in a spot of bother in the World Cup Qualifiers for Russia 2018. They have been poor and disappointing and now find themselves on the brink of not qualifying in the finals next year.

Los Albicelestes are currently sixth in the South American qualifying table while the first four teams get automatic qualification and the fifth placed team has to undergo an inter continental play off, which will be against New Zealand this year.

 

Performance so Far:

It has been an awful outing for the Argentines in the qualifiers as they have just managed 6 victories in their 17 games so far, only scoring 16 goals in a squad that consists the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain to name a few. They are without a win in their last four qualifying matches and that has slipped them big time at the business end of the process. They lost at home against Ecuador and only managed a draw against Venezuela and Peru.

A dejected fan after Argentina’s match against Peru

 

Amid all the current crisis, Argentina still have a realistic chance to qualify for the World Cup next year and it is in their hands as well. They will visit to Ecuador in the final game and that match will be Argentina’s biggest in their recent history.

 

The Lock and Keys:

There are some simple combinations that will decide Messi’s country’s fate in the final match.

  • If Argentina win at Ecuador, they will be at least in the play offs for Russia 2018. Win will take them to 28 points and that will guarantee them at least a meet with New Zealand.
  • If Argentina win and either Chile, Peru or Colombia loose their respective game, Argentina will qualify directly.
  • If Argentina draw, they still can qualify directly for Russia 2018. For that Colombia has to beat Peru and Chile will have to loose by a margin of two goals. Also Paraguay will have to either draw or loose against Venezuela.
  • If Argentina draw and Chile, Peru avoid defeat along with a Paraguay victory, Argentina can’t qualify for the World Cup. In this case both Peru and Argentina will have same points and same goal differences, but Peru will qualify for scoring more goals. This case is also applicable if Chile doesn’t loose by more than one goal margin against Brazil.
  •  Finally, the simple summary, if Argentina loose against Ecuador, they can’t qualify for Russia next summer.

 

Dissection:

One of the main reasons Argentina find themselves here is the lack of clinical ability in front of goal. They have created enough chances int he matches but haven’t converted them to goals that matters. Lionel Messi has scored 4 in the qualifiers and the next highest goal scorer for them is Di Maria with 2. Higuain has only netted once while Aguero haven’t scored one.

 

Mission Ecuador:

This will be a tough encounter as Ecuador will be eyeing to spoil the party for them. Argentina also lost at the returning fixture at home against them and that depicts that it will be a tough hurdle to cross for Messi and his boys. Sampaoli has made many changes and new faces for the last two qualifiers but in the first match they were toothless.

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