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.”

Source: BBC

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