Friday, October 06, 2017

South American drama

The South American World Cup qualifiers are always the most difficult and most dramatic. None of the teams are bad, and as we head into the final round of matches six out of ten teams have options to join the already qualified Brazil.
Uruguay will almost surely join them, as they only need one point against Bolivia to qualify. The South American champions of Chile took an important step with a victory against Ecuador, but will probably still need a result in their last match against Brazil to be certain of qualifying. Not impossible, so Chile is likely to qualify.
Colombia could have made it with a home victory against Paraguay. And they were up 1-0 until the end of the match when the Arsenal goalkeeper made two huge blunders in added time, giving Paraguay two goals and the victory. Ospina may have cost Colombia a World Cup, but they have another shot against Peru at home. The problem is that Peru will also be fighting for a World Cup spot: after 0-0 against Argentina they have fifth place, and with a win will surely be in Russia, and could make it with a tie, depending on Argentina.
Argentina! Oh dear Argentina! After home ties to Venezuela and Peru they seems the least likely team to qualify: they need an away victory against home-hardened Ecuador. All credit to Peru, but their style will not win them friends in Russia, so Argentina will be doubly missed.
Come on! No matter what you think of Argentina, a World Cup without the Albiceleste will not feel real! (Besides the fact that for me it will be hardly worth watching).
Paraguay, who for a long time was deemed out, has better chances of qualifying than Argentina. With their victory against Colombia they just need a victory against Venezuela at home, which would likely give them at least a play-off.
Next week everything will be decided, and I pray that Argentina will make it. Please pray with me.

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