Gabriel Mercado gave Jorge Sampaoli a debut win as Argentina boss as they beat Brazil 1-0 in a friendly in Australia.(09 JUN 2017)
Argentina, meanwhile, were well beaten by Bolivia in La Paz. Juan Carlos Arce and Marcel Martins were both on the scoresheet for the hosts, as La Albiceleste, who were without the suspended Lionel Messi, went winless for the fourth match in a row on the road, an unwanted run comprising two draws and two defeats. (28 MAR 2017)
Messi’s early spot-kick did little to soothe the nerves of Argentina, who struggled to exercise control and were on edge right to the final whistle. In gaining a fourth straight qualifying win over the Chileans, however, La Albiceleste moved up to third place, returning to the top four for the first time since September 2016. (23 MAR 2017)
Lionel Messi was Argentina’s hero yet again, netting a sensational free-kick and setting up the other two goals to lead his country to three crucial points in San Juan.
La Albiceleste put paid to a four-game winless run and a 202-minute goal drought in emphatic fashion by scoring three in a game for the first time this qualifying campaign. They also kept their first clean sheet in five. (15 NOV 2016)
Without an away win since the opening matchday, Paraguay set that record straight with a 1-0 victory over Argentina in Cordoba. The only goal of the game came from Derlis Gonzalez in the opening half, the first time La Albirroja have scored on Argentinian soil in nine world finals qualifiers. Justo Villar completed the hosts’ misery by saving a Sergio Aguero penalty. Without the services once more of Lionel Messi, LaAlbiceleste have now gone three matches without a win, but remain fifth in the table. (11 OCT 2016)
Despite twice taking the lead, Argentina had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Peru in Lima. Ramiro Funes Mori and Gonzalo Higuain were the men on target for the visitors, who were without Lionel Messi, while Paolo Guerrero and Cristian Cueva, from the penalty spot, scored for the hosts. The draw at least enabled La Albiceleste to stretch their unbeaten run in qualifiers on Peruvian soil to seven games (three win and four draws) over 31 years. (06 OCT 2016)