The view in South America was cleared up after wins by Colombia, Chile and Uruguay. With three matches left for all squads not named Venezuela, the puzzle is almost complete. What many now will start to look to do is to jockey for position. In the case of a few is win at all costs and hope like never before.
ONE POINT AWAY
Colombia’s tight 1-0 win against Ecuador put them just a goal behind Argentina at the very top of the table. With 26 points, but teams already clinched a playoff spot and a single point now will have them go over the hump.
WIN AND HOPE- A LOT
In Puerto La Cruz, the theme of the match will be to win. There is no more second chances for either Venezuela or Peru who are coming off of big losses that put their World Cup hopes on life support.
Peru coach Sergio Markarián was extremely upset at the refereeing in the match in Lima against Uruguay. I think what made him even angrier were the allegations from the local press that Schalke man Jefferson Farfán was out on the town the night before the match against Uruguay. The Peruvian FA reportedly have begun an investigation on this incident and they will give the results of that investigation in the coming days.
Venezuela coach César Farías looks to be on his final legs as his team has only two matches remaining.
Venezuela- La Vinotinto have to win at all costs their remaining matches. They would then have to wait and see how Ecuador and Uruguay do. If Uruguay win only one of their remaining matches and Ecuador onl;y get one point out of their last nine, there would be a three-way tie for fourth place. Based on goal differential, Venezuela would qualify for the World Cup
There is also a scenario where Uruguay defeat Ecuador and the Uruguayans lose their final two matches.
Peru- Peru run the table. Ecuador and Uruguay draw and then lose their remaining matches. They could also advance if Uruguay do not earn more than two points in their remaining three matches.
Ecuador would have to only earn one point in their final three matches. At that point Peru would advance on goal differential as both teams would be with 23 points.