CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying: Colombia collapse continues in loss to Argentina; Peru, Uruguay in great shape

Just two matches remain for every team in CONMEBOL as the January-February World Cup qualifying window in South America closed on Tuesday, and the table has painted a clear picture as to who will likely be in Qatar and who won’t. While Brazil and Argentina have already qualified, Ecuador are on the verge of punching their ticket, Uruguay are sitting pretty following the removal of Oscar Tabarez as manager, and Peru look to be in great shape to at least make the intercontinental playoff. Lastly, to the surprise of many, Colombia’s epic collapse could result in them missing the World Cup for first time since 2010. 

Here’s what went down on Tuesday:

Chile 3, Bolivia 2

In a game they had to win, Chile earned an impressive three points in La Paz, beating Bolivia 3-2 behind two goals from Alexis Sanchez. The Inter Milan man put his team up 3-1 in the 85th minute, allowing them to hold on in the end. He scored a stunning free kick just 14 minutes in:

While the result is great for the Chileans, they still find themselves on the outside looking in. To make matters worse, their last two games are against Brazil and Uruguay. They need some miraculous results to come away with a World Cup berth.

Uruguay 4, Venezuela 1

The attack has come back to life under Diego Alonso. After five games without a win, four of which were losses, with just one goal scored, they are back on track. The 3-0 loss at Bolivia in November feels like ages ago, as a 1-0 win at Paraguay last week was topped by the 4-1 win over Venezuela on Tuesday. New Tottenham man Rodrigo Bentancur scored in the opening minute and both Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez found the net as the Charrua have likely played themselves into the World Cup with those two wins:

Argentina 1, Colombia 0

A Lautaro Martinez strike in the 29th minute carried the Copa America winners to a 1-0 win over reeling Colombia. The victory is just another cherry on top for the already qualified hosts, winning again without Lionel Messi, while Colombia’s shocking form continues. They have not won any of their last seven games, having failed to score in all of them. Just having won one of them would have put them right on Peru’s heels, but instead they enter the final two games five points back of direct qualification and four back of the playoff spot. If Chile need a some miraculous results in the final window, Colombia need the mother of all miracles. 

Brazil 4, Paraguay 0

It was business as usual for Brazil, with win No. 12 out of 15 qualifiers as four different players scored. Raphinha, Philippe Coutinho, Antony and Rodrygo each found the net as Tite’s team destroyed a Paraguay side that had just 23% possession. Paraguay have just nine goals in 16 qualifiers as they miss out on the World Cup once again.

Peru 1, Ecuador 1

A win for either would have been nice, but make no mistake that this is a draw that suits both. Ecuador get a little boost and are in brilliant shape to qualify, while Peru can still finish fourth with a big game against Uruguay next. They will likely finish in the playoff spot, at worst, if they can beat Paraguay in their final game. 

Not many gave Ecuador and an aging Peru much of a chance of being in Qatar, but both appear well on their way. 

CONMEBOL standings

  1. Brazil, 36 points
  2. Argentina, 35 points
  3. Ecuador, 25 points
  4. Uruguay, 22 points
  5. Peru, 21 points
  6. Chile, 19 points
  7. Colombia, 17 points
  8. Bolivia, 15 points
  9. Paraguay, 13 points
  10. Venezuela, 10 points 

Final matchdays of qualifying

Dates to be determined.

Week of March 24.

  • Argentina vs. Venezuela 
  • Colombia vs. Bolivia
  • Paraguay vs. Ecuador
  • Brazil vs. Chile
  • Uruguay vs. Peru 

Week of March 29

  • Peru vs. Paraguay
  • Ecuador vs. Argentina
  • Venezuela vs. Colombia
  • Chile vs. Uruguay
  • Bolivia vs. Brazil

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