Peru 2-2 Argentina: Cueva penalty pegs back Albiceleste

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Argentina toiled in the absence of Lionel Messi as they limped to a 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw against Peru on Thursday. Ramiro Funes Mori and Gonzalo Higuain were both on target for the visitors, but they failed to shine away from home and were ultimately held for a second straight tie.

Argentina - who also drew 2-2 last time out against Venezuela - now have 16 points in the CONMEBOL section, three adrift of leaders Uruguay, while Peru - who will feel they deserved more than a point - still languish in eighth.

There were few initial signs of a struggle as Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori drilled home his first Argentina goal in the 15th minute. But Peru were the better side after the break and record goalscorer Paolo Guerrero made a captain's contribution with a fine equaliser just shy of the hour.

It appeared as though Edgardo Bauza's Argentina had stolen the win against the run of play through Gonzalo Higuain's cool finish. There was time for late drama, though, as Funes Mori was punished for fouling Guerrero in the penalty area and Christian Cueva's emphatic penalty restored parity.

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