Lionel Messi’s Argentina in Danger of Failing to Qualify for 2018 World Cup

The result leaves Argentina in sixth-place, outside of the automatic top-four spots and behind fifth-place which would see them face New Zealand in a playoff. Should the two-time World Cup winners fail to miss out on qualification, it would mean we are likely to have seen Messi perform at his last World Cup.

However, manager Sampaoli, who has drawn all three games during his tenure, is still confident his team can qualify for the tournament.

The former Sevilla boss said: “I remain confident we’ll be in the World Cup.

“Throughout the game we had a marked advantage against them, but we could not break through.

“Our situation is not very comfortable, but it depends on us. It would be really unfair if a group that put it all out there like they did does not advance.”

Messi’s men face Ecuador in their final game, with a win being enough for at least a playoff tie against New Zealand. However, Argentina have not won away to Ecuador since 1996, giving Sampaoli’s side a tough final test to make it to international football’s biggest stage.