Photo: Daniel Apuy / Getty Images
The teams from Ecuador, Uruguay, Peru, Chile and Colombia will define between this Thursday and Tuesday, March 29, their pass to the Qatar 2022 World Cup in the last two dates of the South American qualifiers.
The fight between these five teams will be for two direct quotas and one more for the playoff against Asia.
Why don’t we count Bolivia, which is in eighth place with 15 points? La Verde, although not mathematically eliminated, has few real chances of going to Qatar.
Also, Paraguay with 13 points and Venezuela with 10, are the bottom and officially eliminated.
Ecuador, which is in third place with 25 points, hopes to confirm its classification in the same position or in fourth place in the last two dates.
A victory against Paraguay as a visitor or against Argentina as a local and those led by Gustavo Alfaro will reach one of the two direct quotas that remain in dispute, discounting those that Brazilians and Argentines obtained in advance.
La Tri met this Sunday in Asunción to prepare for the match with Paraguay for the penultimate date of the South American qualifiers with 28 players summoned by Alfaro.
The Uruguayan team, which experienced its most difficult moments in these qualifiers until the departure of Óscar Washington Tabarez, revived with an important string of good results under the guidance of its new coach Diego Alonso.
La Celeste is fourth with 22 integers, one more than Argentina’s Ricardo Gareca’s Peru and three more than Chile, its next rival, so if Alonso’s team wins at home and La Roja does not win in Brazil, Uruguay will get its direct ticket abide.
Therefore, the Uruguayans put the focus on the duel against Peru on Monday, since if Alonso’s men win at home and Chile does not win in Brazil, La Celeste will get their direct ticket to Qatar.
Alavés striker Facundo Pellistri described the match against Peru on the 24th as “key”, although he added that “all games are always very important”.
La Blanquirroja has 21 points and is in fifth place. He will meet visiting Uruguayans and receive Paraguay; and his bet is to take fourth place from La Celeste or at least keep the fifth place that he occupies today and that would give him the step to the playoffs.
Ricardo Gareca’s 29-player squad is led by Italian-Peruvian striker Gianluca Lapadula in the absence of Jefferson Farfán and Paolo Guerrero, who have not yet recovered from the injuries they have carried since last year.
La Roja has experienced a tie full of ups and downs but with 19 points, two behind the fifth, Peru, their possibility of accessing the World Cup playoffs is at stake on these two dates.
The problem of those led by Martín Lasarte are the rivals they will face. The already qualified Brazil will receive it this Thursday in Rio de Janeiro and on Tuesday it will be Uruguay, -direct rival-, who will visit the National Stadium in Santiago de Chile.
His first rival, the Canarinha, already has his ticket to Qatar assured, he is the leader of the South American qualifiers with 39 points and has an almost perfect balance of twelve wins and three draws.
The Colombia of James Rodríguez for a miracle
The last chance to access the playoffs is Colombia. Although those led by Reinaldo Rueda are in seventh place, with 17 points, they make accounts of being able to beat Bolivia in Barranquilla and Venezuela on a visit, to add 23 units that, accompanied by two bad results for Peru and Chile, would bring them closer to Taste.
A miracle that Colombia hopes will happen without Radamel Falcao García. The South American team that occupies the fifth place in the qualifiers will have to face, in a single match playoff next June, with the team that has finished fifth in Asia.
- Matchday 17 matches:
24.03 Brazil – Chile
24.03 Colombia – Bolivia
24.03 Paraguay – Ecuador
24.03 Uruguay – Peru
- Matchday 18 matches:
29.03 Bolivia – Brazil
29.03 Chile – Uruguay
29.03 Ecuador – Argentina
29.03 Peru – Paraguay
29.03 Venezuela – Colombia.