Led by Barcelona star Lionel Messi, the Argentines failed to convert a number of chances and now find themselves in sixth place in the South American qualifying group for the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup, level with Peru on 25 points but behind on goal difference.
The team that finish fifth will meet New Zealand for a two-legged playoff in November. After 0:0 against direct competitor in Buenos Aires, double world champion Argentina at World Cup in Russian Federation threatens spectator role.
And Sampaoli isn't about to pair them up with so much resting on the next two matches.
Soccer fans and aligned businesses alike would be saddened by a World Cup that didn't include Lionel Messi.
"I see them being very capable of winning a World Cup next year", he said. The team gave enormous effort and deserved a different result.
Looking to captain and star player Lionel Messi to inspire Argentina to a much-needed victory, the Barcelona forward cut a frustrated figure.
Each team hit the post once: Bolivia at the end of the first half and Brazil in the second in a game that had no bearing on the 10-team group standings. And, as is so often the case with Argentina in this campaign, other than Messi there was little threat from anywhere else.
Argentina have it all to do in their final match, against Ecuador. Or have they left it too late?
That left the focus on the teams jostling behind the five-time champions for the three remaining automatic spots. We are going to play against a team (Colombia) that also needs to win. The group winners? Peru, who beat Argentina 1-0 in Lima and then secured a 2-2 draw in Buenos Aires.
Two goals from Cardozo and Santabria in the closing stages stole the victory from Colombia, who had led through Radamel Falcao's 79th minute strike at the Estadio Metropolitano in Barranquilla.
Such is the magnitude of the upcoming fixture, Peru coach Ricardo Gareca has reportedly requested a police presence on the rooftops around his training camp to deter Argentine spies.