Cape Town - Argentina, still struggling to shake off the disappointment of losing the Copa America final in July - their second defeat in a major final in 12 months - were held to a scoreless draw by Paraguay in Asuncion.
Argentina coach Gerardo Martino praised the
fortitude of his team - again without injured captain Lionel Messi as well as
injured forward Sergio Aguero.
However, he was frustrated they couldn't get the victory over a team they thrashed 6-1 in the Copa America semi-finals.
"I am not satisfied with the point," he said. "
I am happy with the effort that the players put in. I am unhappy because we needed to win the match."
Argentina face Brazil next, when qualifying resumes in November.
It's not clear if Messi will be back from a serious knee injury by then, while Brazil will be able to welcome back the suspended Neymar.