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Qualifying Stage
  • Rolf Feltscher (54' OG)
  • Jhon Jairo Murillo (50')

Argentina still fifth in CONMEBOL after draw with Venezuela

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Sampaoli: Argentina didn't make most of Messi (0:59)

Jorge Sampaoli was frustrated Argentina couldn't make the most of Lionel Messi as they laboured to a draw versus Venezuela. (0:59)

Argentina slipped up at home as they could only draw 1-1 with Venezuela in their South American qualifying group clash to remain fifth.

Argentina needed a second-half own goal from Rolf Feltscher to spare their blushes after Jhon Murillo had given the visitors, who are already eliminated, a shock lead.

It leaves Argentina in fifth place with just two games to go with only the top four gaining automatic qualification to the World Cup finals in Russia.

Jorge Sampaoli's men close out the qualifying campaign with a home clash with Peru, who they are battling with for a qualification place, before travelling to Ecuador.

Argentina did start brightly and might have taken a fourth-minute lead when Javier Mascherano threaded through a pass for Mauro Icardi but he was denied by the legs of teenage Venezuela goalkeeper Wuliker Farinez.

Farinez brilliantly denied Icardi again when he got on the end of a cross from Angel Di Maria but the hosts were then dealt a major blow in the 25th minute when Di Maria was forced off by a hamstring problem.

Farinez was again the Venezuela hero on the stroke of half-time when he got down low to turn away a Lionel Messi effort from 20 yards.

And after dominating for so long, Venezuela stunned the hosts on the break six minutes after the interval.

They broke quickly from defence and Sergio Cordova played a perfect ball into the path of Murillo, who made no mistake in beating Sergio Romero in the Argentinian goal.

However, Argentina were not behind for long as they hauled themselves level just three minutes later.

Marcos Acuna escaped down the left and under pressure from Icardi, Feltscher put the ball into his own net.

Argentina had a penalty appeal waved away after 60 minutes when Icardi thought he was fouled by Mikel Villanueva but the referee was not interested.

Javier Pastore came closest to finding a winner when played in by Messi but saw his last-minute shot saved by Farinez in the Venezuela goal.

WC Qual - CONMEBOL News