South American qualifying for the World Cup was fascinating and close before matches began on Thursday.
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Now, it’s even tighter.
With three matches to play, only Brazil is safe. Their win over Ecuador on Thursday means it will finish first place in CONMEBOL.
Peru beat Bolivia in Lima during the late game, meaning every non-eliminated team is could be in an automatic qualifying spot or outside the Top Four altogether after the international break.
This was not a good day for Alexis Sanchez, whose move away from Arsenal failed to materialize hours before he couldn’t help engineer a home win against Paraguay (the visitors now knocking on the door of the Top Five.
Brazil 2-0 Ecuador
Also, full marks to the social media person here:
Chile 0-3 Paraguay
A rocket own goal from Arturo Vidal started Chile on its way to a shocking score line, with Victor Caceres and Richard Ortiz also scoring as Paraguay climbed up the table.
Venezuela 0-0 Colombia
The hosts had already been eliminated from contention for a place in Russia, and still managed to outshoot Los Cafeteros en route to a point that keeps Colombia’s World Cup plans very much in question. Venezuela’s Josef Martinez (Atlanta United) led the match in shots with four, while Radamel Falcao paced the visitors with three.
Uruguay 0-0 Argentina
Luis Suarez’s hosts are now a point back of second-place Colombia, while Lionel Messi’s Argentina sits two points back in fifth.
Peru 2-1 Bolivia
Brazil — 36 points (qualified)
Colombia — 25 points
Uruguay — 24 points
Chile — 23 points
Argentina — 23 points (CONMEBOL-OFC playoff)
Paraguay — 21 points
Peru — 21 points
Ecuador — 20 points
Bolivia – 10 points (eliminated)
Venezuela — 7 points (eliminated)