CONMEBOL Qualifying: How They Can Reach Brazil 2014
ARGENTINA (vs. Paraguay, Ausencion, 9:40pm EST)
Tied on points with Colombia, but ahead on goal difference, the La Albiceleste can secure their place in Brazil on Tuesday in a number of ways.
First, quite simply, win and their in.
Second, they could earn just one point in Paraguay AND if either Ecuador or Uruguay tie or lose, Hola Brazil.
Third, as Argentina are the final match Tuesday, they could take the field having already qualified. If Bolivia beats Ecuador, they're in. If Ecuador wins OR ties, and Uruguay loses to Colombia, Argentina also advances.
COLOMBIA (vs. Uruguay, Montevideo, 6pm EST)
Los Cafeteros can smell Brazil. A single point against Uruguay punches Colombia´s ticket to the World Cup for the first time since France 1998. And oh how they deserve it.
Colombia could also qualify without winning Tuesday, but only if Bolivia manage to upset Ecuador, but that's not something to count on.
Given that Colombia hasn't taken a point in Montevideo since 2001 (or won there since 1973!), Jose Pekerman´s squad can't be complacent. Especially since Uruguay have their backs against the wall.
CHILE (no match Tuesday)
The Chileans have a bye Tuesday, but will be watching Ecuador and Uruguay with angst. La Roja are already assured at least the 5th place playoff spot, but losses by Ecuador and Uruguay Tuesday would all but secure their direct qualification.
However, if Ecuador beats Bolivia, they jump Chile into 3rd place due to goal difference.
Chile's scenario is tricky. If Ecuador and Urugay make a push, they have to chase more points. Chile's fate lies in their remaining matches against Colombia and Ecuador.
If Uruguay lose out, Chile could qualify without gaining a single point from it's last two matches. But let's not get crazy. Uruguay is famous for finding ways to win.
ECUADOR (vs. Bolivia, La Paz, 4pm EST)
A win against bottom-of-the-group Bolivia would propel La Tricolor to 3rd place, but a loss,
matched with a Uruguay victory would be devastating, leaving them in 5th.
If Ecuador win and Uruguay lose, they guaranteed at least the playoff.
Anyhintg less, and two crucial qualifiers would await: a possibly make-or-break match at home against Uruguay, followed by a tough task in Chile.
URUGUAY (vs. Colombia, Montevideo, 6pm EST)
Early group struggles left the Sky Blues scrambling for the qualifying spot.
However they've surged of late, beating 5th place contenders Venezuela and Peru on the road – a real rarity in CONMEBOL qualification where away teams have won just 11 times. Now Uruguay have their sights set higher than a playoff.
Just two points behind 4th place Ecuador, Uruguay host a tough Colombian opponent Tuesday. And with both their starting centerbacks suspended, Luis Suarez & Co. would do well to steal one point.
However, a win and a Venezuela-Peru draw on Tuesday will secure at least 5th place for Uruguay.
With a tough run-in, including a massive match in the thin-air of Ecuador and a home match versus Argentina, Uruguay's need for 3 points against Colombia can’t be understated.
VENEZUELA (vs. Peru, Puerto La Cruz, 8pm EST)
La Vinotintos are chasing their first ever World Cup birth, but the train to Rio is quickly speeding away.
With two qualifiers remaining, Venezuela must beat Peru to keep their hopes alive.
A tie or a loss and a Uruguay tie or victory would spell doom for their World Cup dream.
However, if Colombia beat Uruguay and Venezuela beat Peru, they’ll be tied for 5th.
A victory over Paraguay on October 11 and Uruguay ties or losses to Ecuador and Argentina would send La Vinotintos to Brazil.
PERU (vs. Venezuela, Puerto La Cruz, 8pm EST)
It doesn´t look good for Peru. A win in Venezuela, where they haven’t won since 1997, is there only way to stave off elimination.
Over the final 3 rounds, if Los Incaicos can secure all 9 points, while Uruguay only tallies 3 points OR Ecuador adds just 1 with a draw, Peru can pull off the near impossible – assuming they make the intercontinental playoff. But to do so,they have to shock Argentina in Buenos Aires, and beat Bolivia in Lima.
Six points from their final 3 matches, and 0 from Uruguay could also see Peru nip into the 5thplace playoff.
PARAGUAY (vs. Argentina, Asunción, 20:40 Colombia time)
Las Albirrojas, who've been a Cinderella story in the last two World Cups, must win all three of their remaining matches (vs Argentina, Venezuela, and Colombia. Yikes.) and hope Uruguay turn to toads and lose all 3 of theirs. And that's just to make the 5th place playoff.
Paraguay would also need Peru to fall short of their miracle.
BOLIVIA (vs. Ecuador, La Paz, 4pm EST)
La Verde are feeling blue. With 10 points from 14 matches, they are the only CONMEBOL team out of the running.
But with two matches remaining, they could play party spoilers for Ecuador and Peru.