Lionel Messi and Argentina are facing the very real prospect of missing next summer’s World Cup in Russia after drawing their latest qualifier against Venezuela.
The went into the game, against the group’s bottom team, sixth in the table but knowing that victory would take them as high as second, behind Brazil.
But it simply didn’t turn out that way and despite Argentina dominating the first half, five minutes after the interval, they fell behind to Jhon Murillo’s opener.
Argentina did manage to level fairly quickly, through a Rolf Feltscher own goal, but that was about as good as it got as the match finished 1-1.
Jorge Sampaoli’s side therefore lie fifth in the group with two games left to play and they are tough looking fixtures too, when qualifying resumes in October.
Next up is a visit from in-form Peru, who are now fourth after run of four wins and a draw in their last six games before Argentina head to the altitude of Ecuador for their final clash.
The top four spots guarantee automatic qualification for the World Cup while fifth place would set up an intercontinental play-off with New Zealand.