Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli remains confident his team will qualify for the World Cup despite being held by Peru on Thursday.

Lionel Messi produced some moments of magic in Buenos Aires, but the hosts were unable to break through in the 0-0 draw.

The result left Argentina in sixth – outside the qualification spots – in CONMEBOL qualifying, ahead of a trip to Ecuador on Tuesday.

But Sampaoli believes in his side's chances of reaching Russia 2018, with Colombia and Peru, fourth and fifth respectively, to meet on the final matchday.

"I am still confident that we will be at the World Cup," he told a news conference.

"Today was a very good game. We just missed a goal. I am very hopeful and excited about what is coming.

"The team never gave up, put in a huge effort and deserved another result."

Sampaoli praised Messi for his performance, with the Barcelona star unfortunate to have scored just four goals in nine qualifiers this campaign.

"Messi played a great game, created chances and gave good passes," he said.

A win over Ecuador will be enough for Argentina to secure at least a place in a play-off.