While football fans have not yet overcome the hangover from the World Cup in Qatar, the road to the next edition of the most important tournament in world football is already taking place. This time, the focus will be on the most difficult qualifiers in the world, the ones in South America. Between September 7 and 12, the first 10 matches of these very tough qualifiers were played, which offers six direct places to the top World Cup event and one for the playoffs.
The race to reach the World Cup in Mexico, the United States, and Canada began in Colombia, where the local, national team received its Venezuelan counterpart, who left a very good image in the first half but sloppily started the second and conceded the only goal of the match by Santos Borré, which was enough to define the match. Almost in parallel, Paraguay and Peru did not go beyond a 0-0 draw in an even match that serves a little more for those led by Juan Reynoso.
For its part, the current world champions needed a goal from Lionel Messi in the match’s final stages to narrowly beat Ecuador, who played a solid match that made it very difficult for the Argentinians. Uruguay took advantage of the home field edge and the momentum of its new coach, Marcelo Bielsa, to comfortably beat the Argentine coach’s former team (Chile) 3 to 1. Matchday 1 was closed by Brazil, which received Bolivia, which could not offer much opposition against the home team, which beat Gustavo Costas’ team 5 to 1.
— CONMEBOL.com (@CONMEBOL) September 8, 2023
On matchday 2, there were some changes in trend concerning the first fixture; for example, Argentina, which had struggled at home against Ecuador, had a quiet victory over Bolivia that added 2 defeats in the two games played, placing itself in the last position in the classification. Uruguay, with a good performance against Chile, was surpassed by Ecuador, which managed to overcome Canobbio’s initial goal with a brace from defender Felix Torres, all this despite the missed penalty by Enner Valencia.
Venezuela received Paraguay in Maturín with the urgency of accumulating points against a possible direct rival in their home stadium. La Vinotinto overcame a disallowed goal by Yangel Herrera thanks to the penalty taken by Salomón Rondon in stoppage time. On the other hand, Chile and Colombia did not go beyond a 0-0 draw, being a result that the Colombians can take with pleasure considering they were away, the opposite being the case for the Chileans. Finally, Brazil visited the National Stadium in Lima, Peru, where they found a very difficult and uncomfortable opponent with a Gallese in great form, who was only beaten thanks to Marquinhos’ goal that came from a corner kicked by Neymar in the 90th minute.
With these results, Brazil and Argentina lead the classification with a perfect score, followed by Colombia with 4 points, Uruguay and Venezuela with 3 points and Paraguay with 1 point closes the direct classification positions. Peru, as of right now, would go to the playoffs and Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia would be left out of the next World Cup, remembering that Ecuador has a deduction of 3 points due to the Byron Castillo case and that is why they have 0 points despite beating Uruguay.
¡Las posiciones de las #EliminatoriasSudamericanas luego de 2⃣ fechas disputadas! ¿Cómo viste este comienzo? 🔝
— CONMEBOL.com (@CONMEBOL) September 13, 2023