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How Argentina can qualify for the World Cup

PERMUTATIONS: How Argentina can qualify for the 2018 World Cup

October 6, 2017 By Ali M.
Heading into the final round, Messi and Co. are in sixth spot, tied on points with fifth-placed Peru.

The CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying is headed for a thrilling and nail-biting finish. With only one round remaining, only two points separate third-placed Chile (26) from seventh-placed Paraguay (24).

This means that Peru and Paraguay stand a great chance of beating South America’s giants to the final two automatic qualification spots – Brazil are already through and Uruguay are all but guaranteed to finish second thank to their +10 goal difference.

Of course, a World Cup without Lionel Messi is the biggest issue on everyone’s minds. The 2014 runners-up are in sixth, outside the playoff spot. However, with Colombia taking on Peru and Chile facing Brazil, La Albiceleste could capitalize on the three teams ahead of them dropping points on the final day.

Here’s how the standings look.

Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay, CONMEBOL, World Cup Qualifying

Here are the final day match-ups

Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, CONMEBOL, World Cup Qualifying

Argentina face a tough trip to Ecuador in the finale, with there being only three results possible – a win, a draw, or a defeat. Here are the permutations for each scenario.

Victory vs Ecuador: Qualification

With Peru and Colombia facing off in the last round, one – or both – teams will drop points. This means if Sampaoli’s men win, they will live to see another World Cup. 

  • They will finish third if Chile fails to win on the final day and if Peru vs Colombia ends in a draw or Peru wins by an inferior margin than Argentina.
  • They will finish fourth if Chile wins and Peru vs Colombia ends in a draw or Peru wins by an inferior margin than Argentina.
  • They will finish in fifth (playoff spot) if Chile wins and Peru vs Colombia ends in a win for whichever side (the hosts will have to win b superior margin than Argentina, however).

Draw vs Ecuador: There is a chance, but a slim one…

If Messi and Co. come out of the final game with a point, they can only qualify if both of the following two things happen:

  1. Peru loses to Colombia
  2. Paraguay fails to beat last-placed Venezuela at home.

Loss vs Ecuador: Farewell, Argentina

Not only will La Albiceleste miss out on the World Cup, they could finish in an embarrassing seventh spot – Paraguay would also have to win on the final day for this to happen.

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