Messi failed to inspire Argentina in the World Cup qualifier against Venezuela in Buenos Aires. Photograph: (Reuters)
Argentina struggled to get past Venezuela despite Barcelona star Messi's presence
Argentina struggled to get past Venezuela despite Barcelona star Messi's presence in the 2018 World Cup qualification match in Buenos Aires.
The home team was stuck down in the match by Jhon Murillo goal, the hosts were lucky to get away after a Venezuela own goal by defender Rolf Feltscher ensured a 1-1 draw.
Argentina are now placed in fifth position in the South American standings with top four finishers allowed to qualify automatically for the finals in Russia.
Venezuela who are at the bottom of the table have already been eliminated but on Tuesday night they were able to embarrass the star studded Argentian side which came up with a lackluster performance despite home support.
In the European qualifiers, Spain thrashed Liechtenstein 8-0 to take another step towards booking their place in Russia for the World Cup finals next year.
Spain top their group now and have a huge 17-goal lead over Italy.
Spain will play Albania next month with an eye towards sealing a European berth in the World Cup finals.