Sitting on 24 points, Argentina remain in fifth position and lined up to face New Zealand in the Intercontinental Play-off after two neck-and-neck clashes in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ South America qualifiers.
A win against Uruguay last week could have been Argentina’s break into the top four but the high-rivalry clash ended in a scoreless stalemate. After an impressive 2-0 win over Paraguay today, Uruguay now sit in second place with 27 points.
A 1-1 draw against Venezuela – who are out of contention for qualification and sit at the bottom of the ladder on eight points- brought even more disappointment to Argentina today but the one point was just enough to hold their place in the top five.
Despite their placing, Venezuela have proven a more and more competitive team throughout the competition, securing a 0-0 draw with Columbia – who currently sit in third place on 26 points – last week and causing upsets for the remaining contenders.
Columbia have bounced back from their draw to Venezuela, however, holding out front-runners Brazil to a 1-1 draw today. Brazil have already claimed 37 points and the first World Cup berth for South America.
Although the single point was not enough to keep their lead over Uruguay, Columbia still hold a two-point lead over Peru, who moved into fourth position with 24 points after defeating Ecuador 2-1.
Peru’s win knocked Chile – who lost 1-0 to eighth-placed Bolivia – out of the qualification zone and down to sixth place, one point behind Argentina.
With six points separating the six remaining contenders, the four qualifying nations and the team meeting New Zealand in the two-legged Intercontinental Play-Off will come down to the last round of CONMEBOL qualification on 5 and 10 October (local time).