Uruguay remained unbeaten in qualifying with an thrilling 4-2 victory over bottom-dwelling Peru on Sunday. The defending Copa America Champion found goals from four different players to rebound from last week's draw with Venezuela. Sebastian Coates opened the scoring in controversial fashion when his goal-bound header was deemd to have crossed the line before being cleared. Uruguay's advantage was doubled in the 30th minute with a goal from Maximiliano Pereira.
Peru proved resilient, however, and clawed its way back on to level terms with an own goal in the 40th minute from defender Diego Godin and a strike from Paolo Guerrero. Eventually Uruguay proved too much for Peru and Christian Rodriguez retook the lead in the 63rd minute before Sebastian Eguren added an insurance goal in stoppage time. Uruguay moves to second place in CONEMBOL qualifying, one point behind Chile with a game in hand.
Here is a look back at Chile's victory over Venezuela, Ecuador's narrow win against Colombia, and Bolivia's rout of Paraguay.
Chile retained its hold on the top spot in CONEMBOL with a dramatic 2-0 win over Venezuela. After failing to score in an opening 85 minutes, Matias Fernandez's deflected shot found the bottom corner. Venezuela poured forward in the closing stages of the game and Charles Aranguiz took advantage by nodding home Sebastian Pinto's cross in the first minute of stoppage time.
It was a good result for a Chile team that sent home two players for partying at a night club the night before a training session. Chile has won three qualifiers in a row with two of them coming on the road.
Bolivia kept its hopes of qualifying for its first World Cup since 1994 alive with a 3-1 victory over Paraguay. The home side jumped out to a 3-0 lead with Alcides Pena scoring after only 10 minutes and Pablo Escobar bagging a brace with goals in the 70th and 80th minutes. Christian Riveros pulled a consolation goal back for a Paraguay side that was clearly suffering from the altitude of La Paz. Both teams are struggling with only four points thus far.
Ecuador moved into the all-important fourth spot with it's narrow 1-0 win over Colombia. Cristian Benitez provided the only score of the game just eight minutes after the restart. Ecuador holds a one-point advantage over fifth placed Venezuela and a two-point advantage over sixth-placed Colombia. The top four teams are separated by a scant three points.
Argentina was the only CONEMBOL team not in qualifying action over the weekend.
What did you think of South American qualifying? Will Chile, Uruguay and Argentina qualify easily or will someone trip them up? Do Peru, Bolivia or Paraguay have any hope?
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