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EDITORIALS – ATTENTION ON SOUTH AMERICA AS ARGENTINA FALL TO FRUSTRATIONS FROM VENEZUELA

Argentina failed to put themselves in a pole position for the 2018 World Cup when they fell to the frustrations of Venezuela in Buenos Aires.

With a fully packed stadium, the Argentines created eleven clear chances but failed to convert to the disappointment of the home fans.

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Captain Lionel Messi was all over the pitch as he took charge of the game but all the chances he created were wasted. Others like Paolo Dybala and Angel Di Maria also did pull strings to get the goals but could not materialize.

The Venezuelans succeeded in getting the first goal on a counter attack when Jhon Murillo managed to squeeze through the Argentine defense to lope home a long ball but Argentina managed to equalize after five minutes thanks to an own goal from Rolf Feltscher.

Chile also failed and dropped further on the table when they lost to Bolivia in La Plata.

Pizzi’s men lost at home earlier on Thursday to Paraguay and were expected to pull up against Bolivia but could only manage a barren first half draw and then went down through a Juan Carlos Arce goal from the spot in the 59th minute.

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Chile with Sanchez, Vidal and Vargas did all they could to at least salvage a point but their efforts were not enough.

Uruguay rather got a grip of qualification after they beat neigbours Paraguay 2-1 away. Goal from Fredrico Valverde and and own goal from Gustavo got the Uruguayans ahead after 80 mins before Paraguay got one back from Angel Romero.

In Columbia, Radamel Falco saved the blushes of his side when he equalized in the 56th minute after Willian had blasted home the first goal in the 45th minute for Brazil.

Brazil who have already qualified, had nothing to loose but with the abundance of talent around, Coach Tite could afford to make changes in his side but still managed to get a point to add up to their accumulated 36 points.

James Rodriguez, Cuadrodo and Falco fired from all cylinders to ensure they get the second goal to seal the three points but the Brazilian defense were too strong to be broken down.

Peru now occupy the fourth spot when they surprised everybody by beating Ecuador in Quito. Edison Flores scored the first goal in the 73rd minute and then Palo Hutardo added the second one after 3 minutes. But Enner Valencia managed to pull one back in the 80th minute for the Ecuadorians but it was not enough to secure them a point.

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The Standings for the CONMEBOL stands as follows :

  1. Brazil – 37 points
  2. Uruguay – 27 points
  3. Columbia – 26 points
  4. Peru – 24 points
  5. Argentina – 24 points
  6. Chile – 23 points
  7. Paraguay – 21 points
  8. Ecuador – 20 points
  9. Bolivia – 13 points
  10. Venezuela – 8 points

The final teams to qualify would be known in October when Columbia face Paraguay and a decider away to Peru.

Argentina would need to beat Peru at home before travelling to Quito to face Ecuador.

Uruguay will travel away to play Venezuela and then finish it up with Bolivia.

La Roja of Chile will also need to dig deep to win at home against Ecuador and then face Brazil in Rio four days later.

 

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