Battle for World Cup Places Hot up in South America
Apart from last-placed Venezuela, the remaining countries are all in the hunt for qualification to the global showpiece in Qatar.
Qualifying leaders Brazil (39 points) and second-placed Argentina (35 points) have secured automatic passage to the tournament in the Arab region.
However, there is a lot to play for, with two matches remaining with Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, and Chile all in with a chance to sneak in.
Ecuador, who are sitting third on the table (25 points), will have to wait to clinch a fourth World Cup berth when they travel to already-eliminated Paraguay on March 24.
Two points from two games against five-time world champions Brazil and Peru have derailed their early qualification to the World Cup.
If Ecuador can keep their heads above water, the battle for 4th and 5th-placed will be fiercely contested in the final two matches.
Uruguay, who are placed 4th and 5th-placed Peru, will be in a neck-to-neck race with just a point separating the two teams.
Uruguay, who have amassed 22 points, has a destiny in its own hands to secure a direct qualification and avoid a tricky playoff.
Peru (21 points) appears to be in great shape to at least make the intercontinental playoff but must fend off competition from Chile (19 points) and Colombia (17 points).
The 5th-placed team will be engaged in a single-match playoff against Asia.
Colombia’s epic collapse could see them miss out on the World Cup for the first time in 2010, while Ecuador is on the verge of punching their ticket in remarkable contrast.
Venezuela (10 points) is the only nation whose elimination has been confirmed, with Bolivia (15 points) and Paraguay (13 points) on the cusp of being booted out.
The top four teams earn direct qualification to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, while the fifth-placed team grabs a spot in a final playoff against an Asian side.
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