Mascherano making no excuses for sorry Argentina

Argentina were beaten 3-0 by bitter rivals Brazil in World Cup qualifying, and the defender insists that they must improve to make it to the 2018 World Cup in Russia

Javier Mascherano believes Argentina have no excuses for the damaging slump that has left their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in jeopardy.

Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez? Click here to see the countdown of the 50 best players in the world in the 2016 Goal 50

Fierce rivals Brazil ran out 3-0 winners in Belo Horizonte on Thursday, meaning Edgardo Bauza's side have now gone four matches without a win.

They lie sixth in the standings, with the top four qualifying automatically, but can overhaul third-place Colombia with victory in next Tuesday's now pivotal clash in San Juan.

"Obviously things have to change. We have to deal with these days and find a way to lift ourselves up," Mascherano told reporters.

"We have to work on everything that we need to work on. We can't make excuses. It's a situation that we can't lie to ourselves about. We have to get out of it ourselves."

Sergio Aguero was introduced at half-time to no avail and the Manchester City striker feels confidence is low in the Argentina camp.

"We are not having a good moment and that's clear," he said.

"But besides all of this, we've looked a little bit at the result and we can look to win on Tuesday.

"The whole group isn't completely good, but we have another important match and we hope that the people can come to us and that we can be confident on the pitch."