Preview: CONMEBOL WC Qualifiers




      FRIDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER, 2012


The South American qualifiers are approaching the halfway mark. Top 4 teams (and hosts Brasil) qualify automatically for Brazil 2014, while the 5th place team will face the winning 3rd place team from the Asian qualifying final tournament. Current standings:

TEAM          MP          PTS.
1. Chile             6             12
2. Uruguay       5             11
3. Argentina    5             10
4. Ecuador       5              9
5. Venezuela    6              8
6. Colombia     5              7
7. Bolivia          6              4
8. Paraguay     5              4
9. Peru              5              3


Here is a rundown of Friday’s matches:

4:30pm ET  COLOMBIA V URUGUAY (Live beINSports-ñ; delayed on beINSports-HD on Saturday @ 12:30am)
– Uruguay are the only unbeaten team in the qualifying tournament so far. Its been a long time since Colombia has beaten Uruguay (2004) but home field advantage and a striker called Radamel Falcao could finally break the jinx. Colombia are the perennial borderline team when it comes to qualifying and getting points at home is a necessity to at least grab the 5th/playoff spot. This one could turn out to be the game of the round.

5:00pm ET ECUADOR V BOLIVIA (Live on beINSports-HD; delayed on beINSports-ñ)
– Ecuador have had a good start to qualifying – especially at home where they have recorded 3 wins and not conceded a single goal. Bolivia usually get their points at home but they have to be encouraged by their 1-1 draw at Argentina earlier in qualifying. Still, this is Ecuador’s game to lose and they should be solidly in the top 4 after this round.

7:10pm ET ARGENTINA V PARAGUAY (Live beINSports-ñ; delayed on beINSports-HD @ 10:30am)
– Compared to the last qualifying tournament, its safe to say that Paraguay are the biggest disappointment so far in the tournament. Losses at Bolivia, Chile and Peru could ultimately cost them a place in Brazil 2014. Now they have to travel to Argentina to break in a brand new coach. On paper, this should be all Argentina but it will be interesting to see how much resistance Paraguay can offer. They certainly need the points and have the potential to upset – as hard as that is to imagine.

9:25pm ET PERU V VENEZUELA  (Live beINSports-ñ; delayed on beINSports-HD on Saturday @2:30am)
– It’s been fascinating to watch Venezuela grow from South American whipping boys to a legitimate contender. They have beaten Argentina in round 2 and have grabbed a couple of draws on the road. Peru have shown nothing so far and another loss here would all but eliminate them from qualifying – even at this early stage. To be fair, Peru have only had 2 home matches including a win over Paraguay. This is an early must-win which could make it an exciting match.

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