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QATAR 2022 QUALIFIER

Messi's Argentina qualify for World Cup after CONMEBOL rivals stumble

Having ended their 28-year wait for silverware via July's Copa America, Messi's Argentina will now look to conquer the World Cup

16 November 2021, Argentina, San Juan: Brazil's Matheus Cunha and Argentina's Lionel Messi battle for the ball during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers soccer match between Argentina and Brazil at San Juan del Bicentenario Stadium. Photo: Gustavo Ortiz/dpa.
Brazil's Matheus Cunha and Argentina's Lionel Messi battle for the ball during the match at San Juan del Bicentenario Stadium. Photo: Gustavo Ortiz/dpa.

Argentina qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, despite playing out a goalless draw with CONMEBOL rivals Brazil.

Lionel Messi returned to the line-up but he was unable to inspire Argentina, who played out a stalemate against Qatar-bound Brazil in San Juan on Tuesday.

That underwhelming performance left Copa America champions Argentina waiting to discover their World Cup fate.

Argentina only had to wait less than an hour as 10-man Chile lost 2-0 at home to Ecuador, sealing La Albiceleste's qualification after Colombia and Uruguay also failed to win.

Lionel Scaloni's Argentina – riding a 27-game unbeaten streak – are second in the CONMEBOL standings with five matches remaining, six points behind leaders Brazil and six clear of third-placed Ecuador.

A game less

Argentina and Brazil have both played a game less following September's qualifier in Sao Paulo, which was sensationally abandoned after Scaloni's men left the field as Brazilian health officials tried to detain visiting players due to coronavirus regulations.

Having ended their 28-year wait for silverware via July's Copa America, Messi's Argentina will now look to conquer the World Cup.

Two-time champions Argentina – eliminated in the round of 16 at Russia 2018 – have not won the World Cup since Diego Maradona inspired the country to 1986 glory, though they reached the final in 2014.

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