Chile beat Ecuador 2-1 to keep World Cup hopes alive

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"As there is no time to work the Dybala-Messi relationship, we should go to something more concrete", said Sampaoli, who is convinced Argentina will qualify for the showpiece in Russian Federation.

Arsenal ace Alexis Sanchez has hit back at his "unreasonable critics" following Chile's second successive World Cup qualifying defeat.

It is fair to say that the group a very close one.

The Uruguayans are all but assured of qualification however, needing only a draw or a win against lowly Bolivia in Montevideo next week to book their place.

Argentina should arguably have already finished up qualification as Brazil have, yet they now find themselves needing to beat Peru.

Argentina are now fifth in the qualifying group which fortunately is a play-off place.

Argentina would not be able to finish higher than 5th with a loss, so Chile's result in Brazil would become irrelevant. But it's still going to be hard. Tite is undefeated in 11 qualifying matches since taking over as Brazil coach, including nine wins. A draw might get the Albicelestes into the playoffs, but that scenario is iffy.

But Paraguay rallied with two late goals by Antonio Sanabria and Oscar Cardozo to a 2-1 victory.

Semi-finalists in South Africa in 2010, Uruguay are poised to reach a third successive finals and avoid the play-off route for the first time in five qualifying campaigns.

Can Argentina qualify with a draw?

Here's where it gets confusing. A draw and a Chile win could leave Argentina sixth with a tricky trip to Ecuador, while Peru would have to host a Colombia side which may have already qualifier.

As they struggle to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, plenty have jumped to the conclusion that Argentina don't have enough passion and drive, but nobody can deny Fernando Gago's incredible will to win.

If they lose, they will only reach the playoffs if Argentina lose and Paraguay fail to beat Venezuela. And it's that defense that will now have to contend with Argentina's ridiculous talent in attack, centered as always around the incomparable Lionel Messi.

The outcome means Paraguay stays in contention and Colombia will also have to wait.

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