ARGENTINA go into their final World Cup qualifier in Ecuador knowing they are in danger of missing out on the World Cup for only the second time in their history.
The Albiceleste failed to make the 1970 tournament in an eerily similar manner to Lionel Messi and co’s disastrous qualifying campaign this time around.
Boss Jorge Sampaoli is the third manager to take charge of the Argentine team, following the dismissal of Tata Martino and Edgardo Bauza.
And between 1967 and 1969, Argentina also operated a managerial revolving door.
Renato Cesarini and Humberto Maschio were both dismissed, leaving Adolfo Pedernera to take charge of the 1970 World Cup qualifying campaign.
But back then, qualifying was in stark contrast to today’s three-year competition, which sees every team in South America face each other home and away.
Qualifying back then was decided in just one month, with teams drawn in groups of three.
The quality was therefore much lower, but so was the margin for error.
Argentina were drawn in an easy-looking group with Bolivia and Peru, but started off with a characteristic 3-1 loss to Bolivia at altitude on July 27, 1969.
In modern times, Argentina’s record in La Paz is little better. They suffered a 6-1 loss there in the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign and were beaten 2-0 there earlier this year.
After an away defeat to Peru and home win over Bolivia, everything came down to their final match against the Peruvians at home on August 31.
The match was played at La Bombonera, home of Boca Juniors, and only a win would be enough to put Argentina through.
Oswaldo Ramirez put Peru 1-0 and 2-1 ahead, before Alberto Rendo made it 2-2 in the 89th minute.
But Pedernera’s side were unable to find a winner and had to watch from home as Brazil swept all before them at Mexico 1970.
On Thursday night, Argentina found themselves in a similar situation as they took on the Peruvians at home.
And the AFA chose to switch the match away from River’s Estadio Monumental to La Bombonera.
To some, sure that Peru would collapse under the unbelievable atmosphere created by the fans of Boca Juniors, it looked like a masterstroke.
But to others, it looked like a psychological victory for the Peruvians before the match had begun.
Did a team with the quality of Argentina really have so little faith in their ability that they needed to rely on the supporters to carry them over the line?
In the end, the match ended up in similar fashion to that of 1969, with Peru holding out for a 0-0 draw.
As anticipated, the fans stuck with the team until the final whistle, and there was not single boo after the match, but it made no difference to the result.
The only difference between 1969 and 2017 is this time Argentina have one more chance.
Other results mean Jorge Sampaoli’s men can book their place in the World Cup play-off at a minimum if they go to the altitude of Quito and beat woefully out of form Ecuador.
Anything less and they’re likely to sit out the tournament in Russia the way Pedernera’s team did in Mexico 48 years earlier.