Argentina have left their World Cup status in the balance following a 0-0 draw at home to Peru in the penultimate CONMEBOL qualifier before the 2018 finals in Russia.
The two-time World Champions now sit outside the qualifying spots in 6th place with just one game to play – away to Ecuador – and cannot afford any further slip-ups if they hope to have a chance of participating at the World Cup next year.
Who, if anyone, impressed in another frustrating affair for the Argentinians?
A mere spectator for 90 minutes as Argentina dominated possession, but was well beaten when Jefferson Farfan shot from point-blank range. Luckily for him, the Peruvian’s shot was wide.
Reliable defensively, using his physique and aggression to force errors from the opposition, but there was no quality in his deliveries from the right flank when bombing forward.
Mopped up behind Mascherano calmly and imposed himself in the air, winning several headers.
Pushed up into midfield to help recycle the ball and played some important passes in hope of unleashing one of Argentina’s forwards. Nearly produced a piece of magic to find the top corner from outside the area as Peru’s defence dropped deeper and deeper.
An energetic burst of pace down the left flank brought the Estadio Alberto Jose Armando to life late in the first half, but his final ball let him down, as was the case for so many of his teammates. Was probably Argentina’s best player up until half time.
Anchored the midfield to help prevent swift Peruvian counter-attacks but was lucky to have gotten away with a loose pass that nearly resulted in a tap-in for Jefferson Farfan. Tested Pedro Gallese with a long-range strike in the second half.
Hardly noticed as a sea of Peruvian shirts completely nullified Argentina’s creativity in the first half. Hooked in the second half for the returning Fernando Gago.
Smart piece of thinking to find Lionel Messi on the edge of the area from a corner, but Messi’s shot was blocked. Otherwise, Di Maria was mostly ineffective. Hooked at half time for Emiliano Rigoni.
Had the chance to calm the nerves of the crowd and put Argentina into the lead when Messi played him through early in the second half, but fired straight at Pedro Gallese. Plenty of energy and workrate from the Atalanta man but not enough quality to get Argentina over the line.
An inventive if wasteful outing for the Barcelona superstar; created several chances for Gomez and Benedetto, neither of whom could apply the finishing touch, but was guilty of wasting chances himself, including an almost open net from a rebound early in the second half.
Didn’t have a lot to work with in the first half as the Argentine supply line was stifled by a solid Peruvian defence, but should have done better with his headed chance just before half time. Saw more chances come his way in the second but was unable to break the deadlock.
The debutant impressed with his trickery and individual quality off the bench, but was unable to force a winner as Peru consolidated.
Was forced off just minutes after coming on for his first appearance in the national side since 2015. A heartbreaking cameo for the former Real Madrid man.
Came on for Gago to little effect.