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CONMEBOL's WCQ tightens with three games left

CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying permutations - 5 September 2017 fixtures

September 3, 2017 By Oscar Rojas
With only three games left to be played, seven teams can still win one of the 3.5 spots left in South America to play in next year's WC.

It's been a grueling World Cup Qualifiers for all South American countries, and the last three games promise to be electric.

Up to this point, only two teams have been eliminated from the competition, as Bolivia and Venezuela have no chances left of playing in Russia next year. On the other side of the table, Brazil winning streak under Tite has them out of harm's way, since they were the second team to secure their spot in the competition behind next year's hosts. 

Here are the standings in CONMEBOL's World Cup Qualifiers after 15 games.

Matchday 16 fixtures

Bolivia and Chile kick off the action on Tuesday, in what could be a tricky outing for La Roja. Juan Pizzi's men can't afford dropping points, but La Verde usually takes advantage of La Paz's height and takes all teams to school at Hernando Siles Stadium. Chile could end this international break in SEVENTH place if they lose against Bolivia, combined with wins by Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Paraguay.

Colombia host Brazil with the clear possibility of sealing their ticket to the 2018 World Cup. A win for Pekerman's crew could give them some room to breathe in the competition, especially if Argentina, Perú or Paraguay drop points. In the event of a loss, Colombia could drop from being No. 2 to No. 5, particularly if Chile and Argentina win.

Ecuador, who led the competition back when it started with a flawless record of three straight wins, will play to remain alive against Perú. If Paraguay and Argentina drop points, Ecuador could escalate to the fifth spot of the qualifiers, while Los Incas need three points and a couple of good results to sleep in the No.4 spot.

Argentina faces Venezuela in what should be the easiest match left for La Albiceleste in the final stretch of the competition. Facing the worst team in South America should be used by Messi & Co. to revamp their goal scoring abilities, as they are the second worst offensive unit in CONMEBOL with only 15 goals scored. A loss for the Argentine team could see them drop to No.7 if Perú and Paraguay win.

Paraguay host Uruguay in the final game of Matchday 16 in CONMEBOL. Los Guaraníes will try to keep their good momentum going after thrashing Chile 3-0, while a Luis Suárez-less Uruguay tries to add at least one point to their tally, in order to avoid being dropped to No. 6 if Chile and Argentina win their games.

What's left for each team after Matchday 16

Brazil: Already secured their spot in the World Cup. Faces Bolivia (Oct. 5, away) and Chile (Oct. 10, home)

Colombia: Faces Paraguay (Oct. 5, home) and Perú (Oct. 10, away)

Uruguay: Plays against Venezuela (Oct. 5, away) and Bolivia(Oct. 10, home)

Chile: Faces Ecuador (Oct. 5, home) and Brazil (Oct. 10, away)

Argentina: Plays against Perú (Oct. 5, home) and Ecuador (Oct. 10, away)

Perú: Faces Argentina(Oct. 5, away) and Colombia (Oct. 10, away)

Paraguay: Plays against Colombia (Oct. 5, away) and Venezuela (Oct. 10, home)

Ecuador: Faces Chile (Oct. 5, away) and Argentina (Oct. 10, home).

Bolivia: Already eliminated. Faces Brazil (Oct. 5, home) and Uruguay (Oct. 10, away)

Venezuela: Already eliminated. Plays against Uruguay(Oct. 5, home) and Paraguay (Oct. 10, away)

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