CONMEBOL Qualifying Preview: Ecuador battles Chile; Uruguay host weakened Argentina; and more

AntonioValenciaEcuador1-Chile (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Two automatic qualification spots for the 2014 World Cup remain open in CONMEBOL qualifying, with Chile, Ecuador, and Uruguay all vying to book their ticket to Brazil.

Colombia’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Chile last Friday earned the Cafeteros their first place in the World Cup in 16 years, but third and fourth place in the qualifying round robin group are still available, while Uruguay currently sit in the play-off place, where the fifth-place South American nation will have to play Jordan in a two-legged series with a massive amount of travel in between.

As Chile and Ecuador play each other on Tuesday in Santiago, Chile, both nations can secure qualification with a draw, so it will be interesting to see if either side tries to go for a win. Uruguay meanwhile need for one of those two nations to win so that they have a chance when they host a weakened Argentina side in Montevideo.

Having already qualified back in September, Argentina left off the injured Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain as well as returning Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria to their clubs after Friday’s win against Paraguay. However, to move out of the play-off position, Uruguay would need to record a big win to improve their goal difference, an outcome that the team has admitted this week is unlikely.

Finally, both Peru and Bolivia, both eliminated already, face each other in Lima, and the high-flying Colombians travel to Paraguay for one final qualifying match.

Here is the full list of Tuesday’s qualifiers in CONMEBOL:

Paraguay vs. Colombia

Uruguay vs. Argentina

Chile vs. Ecuador

Peru vs. Bolivia

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What do you think of these matches? Do you see Uruguay pulling off an upset? Do you believe that Chile and Ecuador would both settle for a tie?

Share your thoughts below.

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16 Responses to CONMEBOL Qualifying Preview: Ecuador battles Chile; Uruguay host weakened Argentina; and more

  1. AcidBurn says:

    Wow, if there ever was a “wink-wink” game to get an arranged draw, the Chile-Ecuador draw would be it.

    “Center holds it…holds it…HOLDS IT…HOLDS IT!!!!”

  2. The Other Jeff says:

    From the Hopeless Optimist Department. Incredibly, US still has one – but only one – chance to be seeded. All of the following must happen:
    1. US win vs Panama
    2. Uruguay finish 5th and lose playoff to Jordan
    3. Netherlands loss to Turkey
    4. Switzerland loss to Slovenia
    5. Chile loss or tie vs Ecuador
    6. England loss or tie vs Poland
    We end up ranked 8th or 9th, with Uruguay out of the tournament. If all this happens, don’t be surprised to see a squadron of pigs circling over FIFA HQ. But nice to have even a theoretical chance going into last qualifying match – how many would have predicted that a year ago?

    • ld says:

      The USA does not deseve a seed, as they are not anywhere close to being a top 8 team in the world. Why do people insist on talking about this so much lately as if there is a realistic chance?

      • Lil' Zeke says:

        In the words of Wm. Munny, “It ain’t about deservin”

      • Clyde Frog says:

        The seeds go to the top 8 ranked teams among the 32 in the World Cup, not the tpp 8 teams in the FIFA ranking. A subtle difference that theoretically come into play (even though it almost certainly won’t.)

      • Joamiq says:

        Hey, if Colombia can get a seed, you can’t blame US fans for thinking there’s somehow a chance.

    • louis z says:

      If we couldn’t beat CR at CR to continue the winning streak, then we don’t deserve the 8th spot no matter how mathematical of a chance we have.

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      But in response to your actual point Jeff, yes it is nice!

  3. Chris says:

    Argentina usually put out a weaker squad against Uruguay in that final match but I think the Uruguayans can’t score enough goals to get into the fourth slot ahead of Ecuador. Chile should be feeling a little disappointed with their result against Colombia so it may get ugly for Ecuador though

  4. Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

    Ecuador has a GD of +5, Chile of +3, and Uruguay -1. That means IF Ecuador and Chile don’t tie, Uruguay has to win by at least 5, and possibly 6 against team Argentina B-team. Uruguay are toast. Wow. Definitely didn’t see that coming. World FIFA number 7 team becomes the first top tier team to bomb.

    • Eric says:

      They will still make the World Cup.

    • Mike Santoro says:

      Math isnt your strong suit. If Ecuador wins by 2 goals, Uruguay “only” needs to win by 3 and they’ll pass Chile. Hard but not impossible. Argentina has some bad losses recently

  5. Pete From Queens says:

    Argentina has historically rolled over for it’s neighbor Uruguay whenever needed and i don’t expect anything less tomorrow. Will they win by 5? no but they’ll win.

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