There’s loads on the line in the final group play matches of Group A on Wednesday in Chile.
Thanks to several upsets, not one of the cluttered mass of nations competing in the tournament has been assured anything other than third place in its group, and no team is assured of advancing to the knockout rounds before its third round match has been completed.
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Chile and Bolivia know they will finish no worse than third in Group A, but enter their match tied for first place in the group. Mexico and Ecuador both need wins in a critical battle to kick off the day.
Mexico vs. Ecuador – 5 p.m. ET – FOLLOW LIVE
El Tri has played a dispiriting draw with Bolivia and a thrilling 3-3 deadlock with Chile. Which side will we see come Friday evening? It’s fair to expect an open affair, as both teams need wins to feel safe and Ecuador needs a blowout win.
Mexico can advance with a win. It’s as simple as that. But Miguel Herrera’s side can still win the group with a multi-goal win and a 0-0 draw between Chile and Bolivia, or by winning and scoring two more goals than Chile nets in a draw.
Ecuador needs a win and help all over the place. With zero points through two matches, a three-point gain would still have to see a significant goal differential reversal. Amarillos likely need a two-goal win over Mexico, losses by Uruguay and Jamaica, and no draws in Group C.
Chile vs. Bolivia – 7:30 p.m. ET – FOLLOW LIVE
This one’s more clear-cut: Winner goes through as a No. 1 seed, and both sides are assured knockout place slots with a tie. Both clubs are also through if Mexico loses to Ecuador, regardless of outcome.
Bolivia outlasted Ecuador in a 3-2 thriller after its scoreless stalemate with Mexico. Chile handled Ecuador, albeit without the clinical finishing you’d expect, but needed every inch of resolve to scrape its point from Mexico.
Hit the “FOLLOW LIVE” links above for live updates on both games, while we will continue to have reaction and analysis from South America’s continental championship throughout the tournament on ProSoccerTalk.