(R/T) Conmebol WCQ, Round 5
- From: Lléo <lleo_lm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2012 20:57:45 -0300
Uruguay 1-1 Venezuela
Another excellent result for la vinotinto at El Centenario, who have by now dealt with the two top teams (Argentina and Uruguay), with a win and a tie. Plus, again they play the stone in Uruguay's shoe, having had a win and a draw in their last two WCQ visits to Montevideo. La Celeste scored first via Forlán, in a play where he was possibly marginally offside. A late game pressure by the vinotinto yielded them a deserved equalizer, by Rondón. Uruguay is still among the top, though, with a game in hand. As for Venezuela, early days as it may be, they've been roaming the right path so far.
Bolivia 0-2 Chile
For some reason, and unlike their sea-level neighbors, Chile does not seem to have any apparent issue with the altitude, repeating now the same result they got in the previous two qualifying cycles. Bolivia started off in full throttle and quickly pinned the chilenos in their half of the field, forcing a couple of great saves by Bravo, and having to pk claims (alledged handballs) denied by the referee. Chile slowly found their way out of the bunker, first via Route One (el pelotazo) and later with the ball on the ground. In the last play of the first half they scored with Aranguiz. In the second half it was a bit more of the same: Bolivia all over, Chile resisting and betting on counters, one of which had Vidal settling matters definitely for la Roja. Very valuable points, this is a good Chilean team overall. Bolivia, lying adrift at the bottom, is hopeless as ever. I think they are the only team that doesn't really have a shot at qualifying to Brasil'2014.
Argentina 4-0 Ecuador
Very easy win for la Albiceleste, against an Ecuador team that was powerless against them. Great game by Messi, actively involved in three of the goals, plus scoring one himself (the third, after Aguero and Higuaín). In the second half Di Maria scored the last one, after another defense-opening move by Messi. Argentina seems to be back in form, after the long pause. Or maybe this is Alejandro Sabella's work starting to show? As for Ecuador, their form isn't encouraging at all. Well, it is early days.
Peru 0-1 Colombia
Another Copa America rematch, this one a QF. First half was a hard fought battle, although a generally clean one, with a few chances for both sides (but with Ospina needing to work harder than Penny to keep the clean sheet). Colombia scored early in the second half with James Rodriguez. Peru then created some half-chances and even mounted to some late game pressure, but ultimately failed to beat the well positioned Colombian defense. Indeed, at times the cafeteros were closer to the second goal than Peru was to the equalizer.
Paraguay had a bye this round.
Table [pos, team, games, wins,draws,losses, gs-gc, gd]
1 Argentina 10 5 3 1 1 11-4 7+
2 Chile 9 5 3 0 2 9-10 1-
3 Uruguay 8 4 2 2 0 10-4 6+
4 Venezuela 8 5 2 2 1 4-4 0
5 Colombia 7 4 2 1 1 5-4 1+
6 Ecuador 6 4 2 0 2 5-6 1-
7 Paraguay 4 4 1 1 2 3-6 3-
8 Peru 3 4 1 0 3 4-7 3-
9 Bolivia 1 5 0 1 4 4-10 6-
Next matchday (in brackets, results from the previous four WCQ in that venue,
in order with WC'98 qualifiers first):
Venezuela vs Chile (1-1, 0-2, 0-1, 2-3)
Both sides are in good shape. Venezuela has been getting the right results, with two excellent ones against Argentina and Uruguay - teams that pounded Chile with 4-goal wins in earlier rounds. This is a rematch of the Copa America 2011 quarterfinal, where the vinotinto's win was thought of as a bit of an Upset. This time, at home, it's still a dangerous game, but one that they can do something again.
Bolivia vs Paraguay (0-0, 0-0, 2-1, 4-2)
We're about to see what the Paraguay of 2012 looks like. The 2011 version wasn't favorably comparable to the ones that qualified comfortably to the last four World Cups, but they did pull off a Copa America final, so even if without a win there it's not exactly a pushover. They still can be gritty enough. Although in the altitude I don't expect them to make a good impression either. Bolivia, hopeless as usual and even factoring this home loss to Chile, should be able to find its first win in this cycle (or at least its second draw).
Uruguay vs Peru (2-0, 0-0, 1-3, 6-0)
A rematch of two Copa America 2011 games, in the group stage (where Peru surprised la Celeste and pulled a 1-1 draw) and the semifinals (where Uruguay's superiority ultimately prevailed). The uruguayos probably still have the strongest team around and should be considered favorites. Peru, otoh, probably shouldn't be taken too lightly, since even without the results they seem to be playing better now than in the last couple of decades - notwithstanding the deep crisis their professional football seems to be under.
Ecuador vs Colombia (0-1, 0-0, 2-1, 0-0)
Don't know what to think about this one. Ecuador seems to be as poor now as they were last year, but they'll be at home. Not much to talk about altitude on this one, though, since Colombia also has high venues at their disposal and is used to them. They aren't setting the world alight exactly, either, but do seem to have better players. Up for grabs.
Argentina will have a bye this round.
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