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Page last updated at 07:05 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 08:05 UK

Argentina World Cup spot in doubt

Diego Maradona
Maradona has vowed to fight on despite his side's poor form

Argentina are in danger of missing their first World Cup since 1970 after losing 1-0 to Paraguay - who have now qualified for South Africa in 2010.

Diego Maradona's side are one point behind fourth-placed Ecuador with two games to play and only the top four teams are certain to qualify.

The side in fifth face a play-off with the fourth-placed team in the North, Central America and Caribbean group.

Meanwhile, Chile were beaten 4-2 by Brazil but remain third in their group.

Striker Nilmar scored a hat-trick to lead already-qualified Brazil to a ninth victory in the South American qualifying group.

It was an 11th win in a row for under-strength Brazil, with coach Dunga being without Kaka, Lucio and Luis Fabiano because of suspension, while Robinho was out because of a muscle problem in his right leg.


Elsewhere, Ecuador beat Bolivia 3-1 with goals from Edison Mendez, Manchester United's Antonio Valencia and Birmingham's Cristian Benitez.

And Uruguay kept their qualification hopes alive with a 3-1 win over Colombia, while Venezuela beat Peru 3-1.

Argentina's defeat, their fourth loss in the last five qualifying matches, heaped more pressure on coach Maradona.

"As long as I have a drop of blood left, I will fight to get Argentina qualified," said Maradona, whose side still have to play Uruguay and Peru.

"We're not out of the World Cup.

"I'm not afraid of criticism. I'm not afraid of anybody. I'm going to continue no matter who criticises me."

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see also
Who has qualified for South Africa 2010?
19 Nov 09 |  Internationals
World Cup 2010 qualifying
01 Dec 09 |  Football
England 5-1 Croatia
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Scotland 0-1 Netherlands
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Spain qualify for 2010 World Cup
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Netherlands seal World Cup place
06 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Ghana qualify for 2010 World Cup
06 Sep 09 |  African

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