World Cup Qualifying: Argentina face decisive match in Ecuador


Lionel Messi's Argentina are on the brink of missing out on the 2018 World Cup, there's just one match left in the South American qualification campaign and if they don't win it they might be out of the World Cup final tournament for the first time since 1970. Argentina face Ecuador in Quito on Wednesday night (European time), with the home side already out of the qualification race. Argentina are currently sixth in the group, tied on 25 points with fifth-placed Peru and one point behind Chile and Colombia who are currently third and fourth.

The top four places grant automatic qualification for the World Cup, while the team which finishes fifth will go through a play-off tie. If Argentina beat Ecuador they are guaranteed to finish fifth as Colombia and Peru play each other, while Chile will have a tough away match in Brazil. However, Argentina failed to win any of their last five away matches in this qualification campaign, and even got beaten 2-0 in Bolivia. On the other hand, Ecuador have lost all their last three matches.

It depends on us," Argentina head coach Jorge Sampaoli said. "I'm very confident that if we play with the conviction that we did against Peru then we are going to be in the World Cup." Argentina only managed a goalless draw at home against Peru last time out, they dominated the match but failed to find the back of the net. "The team is angry but thinking that if they win in Ecuador, they will qualify," added Sampaoli. "There is a conviction that strikes me very much. We will continue searching, as we did with Venezuela and Peru." Despite the head coach's confidence, it's worth mentioning that Ecuador beat Argentina 2-0 in the reverse fixture and that Argentina have not won a match in Ecuador since 2001.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Ecuador win - 8.00
Draw - 4.33
Argentina win - 1.44

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