Argentina held by Venezuela with two games left in CONMEBOL

Argentina had been dealt a blow in their efforts to qualify for the World Cup in Russia after being held to a 1-1 draw by Venezuela.

Despite hosting the Venezuelan team in Buenos Aires and putting on a dominant performance, Argentina remarkably fell behind when Jhon Murillo struck a goal against the run of play.

Still, to the relief of Argentina national coach Jorge Sampaoli and the home crowd, a Rolf Feltscher own goal quickly equalized the game for Argentina.

However, Venezuela, who were at the dead bottom of the CONMEBOL qualifying table and the second best throughout the game, were able to keep Lionel Messi and the rest of the Argentinian offensive out thanks to good saves made by the Venezuela goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez throughout the first half.

Starting from midway through the first half, Farinez brilliantly denied Mauro Icardi twice — with one of those coming from a one-on-one encounter — and also pushed away a long-range effort from Messi.

And even as Messi attempted to make an of the game, Argentina were also significantly disadvantaged after a hamstring injury forced winger Angel Di Maria off the pitch.

After the interval, a blistering counter-attack led to Murillo being put through by Sergio Cordova, and the 21-year-old made no mistake with a fine finish to give his side a shock lead.

Getting moved into action, Argentina quickly responded through the substitute Acuna, who earlier came in for Di Maria and brilliantly ran down the left before his cross was turned into his own net by Feltscher.

But Sampaoli would also revel in his luck after Uruguay were also held by Colombia, and both draws were enough to at least lift Argentina into fifth — the play-off spot — heading into the final two matches in October.

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