World Cup 2018 qualification going gets tough in South American


Only two more match-days left in the world’s most competitive qualification tournament. South America World Cup qualifyinghas been for sure a great challenge for the runners-up who are playing for one of the remaining tickets to Russia 2018 World Cup. With Brazil already qualified Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Ecuador are playing blood-and-guts for three automatic qualification places and one play-off spot for the right to play at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

In fact, what really strikes soccer followers about latest results, it is the possibility of a 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia without an Argentinian National Squad. After drawing with Venezuela in Buenos Aires, Messi´s team is currently fifth in CONMEBOL´s table waiting for a Peruvian squad that has won the past 18 of 20 points in competition which has allowed them to move up to fourth place in the table. Gareca´s pupils will visit to “La Albiceleste” in Buenos Aires the 5th of October. Jorge Sampaoli(the third manager of this qualifying campaign) will have to focus on resolving the lack of goals, strengthen the defense and give more opportunities to Messi to develop the game as he does for FC Barcelona. Argentina still has qualification for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia in their own hands, but to achieve it they have to overcome two very high pressure matches.

From the other side, the Peruvian National Team had great soccer success defeating Ecuador´s soccer team in Quito on the 6th of September for the first time in its footballing history. “La Blanquiroja” looks good and their followers know it. Ten-man Peru kept their hopes of reaching Russia alive with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Ecuador in Quito. Edison Flores and Paolo Hurtado scored within three minutes of each other in the 73rd and 76th minute, respectively, to give the visitors what appeared to be an insurmountable lead. However, Enner Valencia converted an 80th-minute penalty after Christian Ramos received a second yellow card for a bad foul in the box, which set the stage for a wild finish in which Peruvians would ultimately hold on to the three points. The win lifts Peru, who haven’t reached the World Cup finals since 1982, to fourth place with 24 points.

As far Chile, they suffered a heavy blow, losing to 10-man Bolivia 1-0 in the altitude of La Paz. The defending Copa America champions came into the day’s round of matches in fourth place, but suffered their second straight defeat against the already-eliminated Bolivians which are already run out from Russia 2018 World Cup. All these events has made Arturo Vidal announce he will retire from the Chilean national team after 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia but admits the end of his international career may come sooner with his national team in a “terrible” position. The Bayern Munich midfielder declared his intention to end his international career after Tuesday’s 1-0 loss against Bolivia in La Paz that dropped “La Roja” out of the qualifying places for next year’s tournament in Russia with two rounds remaining.

In terms of the table, the Uruguayans are on the brink of qualification after nudging into second place at the expense of Colombia. Uruguay defeated Paraguay 2-1 in the match that closed the sixteenth day of the South American qualifier in a game played at the Defensores del Chaco stadium in Asunción, against 35,000 spectators.

Colombia tied the match with Brazil, who have won nine games in a row and who have never lost to “Los Cafeteros” in 11 qualifying matches. The good thing for the Colombians is that they are the only one of the seven contenders guaranteed to end a play-off spot at the very worst, depending on how results go elsewhere on the next matches. Its star man James Rodriguez did not perform as brilliantly as he has previously. In contrast, Radamel Falcao scored at 55″ giving Colombians hope of triumph against “Los Cariocas”.

The “Selecao”, who have already qualified for the finals in Russia next summer, had gone nine straight qualifiers with a win under the former Corinthians coach Tite. But an excellent second-half header from Radamel Falcao saw Brazil fail to take maximum points for the first time under Dunga‘s successor. Willian had opened the scoring with a stunning strike just before half-time. After a cleared corner, a ball back into the Brazil box found Neymar, whose leaping layoff found the Chelsea man, who unleashed an unstoppable shot with the outside of his right foot past a stretched David Ospina and into the top corner.

  • What really strikes soccer followers about latest results, it is the possibility of a 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia without an Argentinian National Squad.

The next  South America World Cup qualifying double match day will hold on October 6th and 11th.

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