Argentina's World Cup qualification hopes were dealt another blow after they were held to a goalless draw by Peru in Buenos Aires.
Lionel Messi weaved his magic and hit the post but he was unable to lift Argentina to victory as Jorge Sampaoli's slumping side dropped out of the qualification spots for next year's showpiece tournament on Thursday.
The blockbuster fixture against fourth-placed Peru at the iconic La Bombonera – home of Boca Juniors – could not inspire Argentina, who controlled proceedings but were unable to find a way past Pedro Gallese in the Argentine capital.
Messi – playing ahead of Paulo Dybala who was an unused substitute along with Mauro Icardi – huffed and puffed, teeing up surprise inclusion Dario Benedetto, debutant Emiliano Rigoni and Marcos Acuna, though his team-mates failed to capitalise.
A fourth qualifier without victory coupled with Chile's win over Ecuador saw Argentina drop to sixth in the CONMEBOL standings, outside the play-off position heading into next week's final matchday.