6 Oct 2017

All Whites-Argentina World Cup playoff still on the cards

3:46 pm on 6 October 2017

An All Whites - Argentina play off for a place at next year's football world cup remains on the cards, with the former world champions still struggling to qualify for the tournament.

Next month the All Whites will play the fifth placed South American side, home and away, for place in Russia.

Argentina were sitting in that fifth spot ahead of today's qualifer against Peru, but a nil all draw has seen them slip back to sixth with Peru now fifth, with just one round of matches to play.

Lionel Messi (right) and his Argentina side could play the All Whites for a place at the 2018 World Cup.

Lionel Messi could still find himself in Wellington playing the All Whites for a place at the 2018 World Cup. Photo: Photosport

However the South American conference is so congested New Zealand could play any one of five teams to get to Russia.

Uruguay failed to break down Venezuela in a 0-0 draw and were left waiting to bag what looked a certain place at the 2018 World Cup finals.

The Uruguayans, second in the South American group behind already qualified Brazil (38), are on 28 points and will hope to secure their berth at the Russia finals when they host Bolivia next week.

The top four qualify automatically for Russia.

Uruguay have a goal difference of +10 as opposed to +1 for both Peru and Argentina, who have 25 points after a 0-0 draw in Buenos Aires and could potentially join them locked on 28 points after next week's matches.

If Uruguay were to lose heavily to Bolivia and Argentina, who travel to Ecuador, and Peru, at home to Colombia, were to rack up big wins, they could fall out of the reckoning.

Colombia and Chile, both with 26 points, hold the other two automatic qualifying berths with Peru in the fifth-place playoff spot having scored more goals than Argentina.

Semi-finalists in South Africa in 2010, Uruguay expect to take one of four automatic berths and go into a third successive finals.

It will be the first time in five qualifying campaigns this century that Uruguay have avoided an inter-confederation playoff.

They have reached three finals via two-legged playoffs since 2002, but missed out on Germany 2006 after losing to Australia.