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World Cup Qualifier: Messi fails to score against Peru, Argentina's hopes teetering on the brink

Peru held Argentina to a goaless draw in Buenos Aires as Lionel Messi's side failed to break the deadlock at the end of 90 minutes in the South American World Cup qualifers.

Messi fails to score against Peru

Lionel Messi and Argentina's hopes of reaching the 2018 World Cup were left hanging in the balance on Thursday after another stalemate on a nail-biting day of South American qualifying action.

Peru hold Argentina in South American World Cup qualifier

Argentina were held to a 0-0 draw in Buenos Aires by Peru, leaving the two-time world champions outside the automatic qualification places as they head into the final round of fixtures next Tuesday.

Messi fails against Peru in World Cup qualifier

It was another desperately disappointing display by Argentina, who once again struggled to turn a wealth of possession into goals.

Messi fails to score against Peru in World Cup qualifier

Barcelona star Messi hit the post in the second half but could only watch in frustration after serving up a stream of chances for team-mates who failed to convert.

Peru hold Argentina in World Cup Qualifier

The result left Argentina in sixth place in the standings. The first four teams qualify automatically, with the fifth-placed team advancing to a playoff against New Zealand in November.

Goaless draw in World Cup qualifier

But with only two points separating third-placed Chile and seventh-placed Paraguay, the final standings could change dramatically depending on results on Tuesday.

The margin for error for Argentina, however, has narrowed after their latest setback, their third consecutive draw of a faltering qualification campaign.