I wore my Argentina shirt to work yesterday, as I was excited about Argentina getting revenge for the 1-0 away defeat to Venezuelan in the first round of the qualifiers. While Venezuela has been rising over the last years, the one thing they have still not achieved is to get a point in Argentina. And it was not to happen: Sabella's Argentina was superior to Venezuela in all respects, and in spite of Gonzalo Higuain's last goal being a clear off-side, Argentina's 3-0 victory was fully deserved. Argentina is quite certain to be in Brazil, and will be a contender for the title.
Venezuela is fighting for the fourth and fifth places in the South American qualifiers with Uruguay and Chile. One of these teams will lose out about Brazil. With Venezuela's loss, they had to hope their contenders did not do well, and they were lucky. Uruguay, who has been struggling lately, only managed to get 1-1 at home to Paraguay, who equalized late after Luis Suarez had brought the Uruguayans ahead. In the meantime Chile lost 1-0 to their arch-rivals Peru, so they remain in sixth place with 12 points, the same as Venezuela in fifth place (the play-off spot) and with Uruguay in fourth place with 13 points.
To make it all more interesting, Peru now has a chance to contend for one of the spots with 11 points.
Together with Argentina, Colombia is playing awesome football. Yesterday they played Bolivia at home and won 5-0 in an impressive performance with goals by Teofilo Gutierrez, Pablo Armero, Carlos Valdes, Macnelly Torres and Radamel Falcao. The team is attacking and possessing, and under Jose Pekerman they will be a team nobody will like to face in Brazil.
The pressure on Colombia will be from their passionate fans, who can go from the greatest expectations to the deepest depths of ingratitude to their team.
Next Tuesday Colombia will come to Venezuela in a match that is crucial for the home side, while Chile and Uruguay are facing each other in what will be another dramatic match.
There is no doubt that the South American qualifiers are the best qualifiers in the world in terms of quality, drama and excitement, and this will continue for the next matches!