Messi, who was ruled out for at least three weeks after he suffered a groin injury during FC Barcelona's La Liga fixture against Atletico Madrid on September 21, finally returned to training at Camp Nou the same day of his country's setback.

 

Paraguay stunned the hosts early in the first half, and the two-time champions never made a comeback after that. 

 

Paraguay's forward Angel Romero from deep in their own half, stormed the ball in the path of teammate Derlis Gonzalez, who eventually beat Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero with a shot inside the near post. 

 

The defeat left last edition's runner's up at the fifth position, one point ahead of Paraguay and four behind leaders Uruguay. 

 

If Second-placed Brazil win in Venezuela, they will overtake Uruguay for the pole position in the South American group. Meanwhile, Ecuador are third on 17 points, level with Colombia, who are in fourth on goal difference.

 

The sides that will finish the qualifiers in the top four will play the World Cup in Russia in 2018. And the fifth team will feature for an intercontinental playoff for another berth.