Chile has consolidated their place in the top five of FIFA World Cup qualifying in South America with a valuable yet goalless away draw against Colombia but the race has tightened.
The Copa America champions had recently overtaken Argentina into the crucial intercontinental playoff spot – the fifth placed CONMEBOL team plays the OFC Stage 3 winner for a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia – thanks to two of Bolivia’s matches being overturned due to fielding an ineligible player.
The point means Chile move one point clear of Argentina in sixth after La Albiceleste were convincingly beaten 3-0 by arch-rivals Brazil.
Ecuador, surprise early leaders in the Elimnatoria have now dropped to fourth spot, level on 17 points with Chile and in danger of falling out of the top five altogether after losing 2-1 to Uruguay who are second, one point behind Brazil.
Meanwhile, with Chile, Argentina and Ecuador all failing to win, seventh Paraguay missed a chance to capitalise and instead suffered a blow of their own losing to 4-1 at home to Peru.
Peru’s win revives their flagging chances of qualification with just four points separating them in eighth from third placed Colombia with Ecuador, Chile and Argentina all caught up in the dogfight with seven matches left.
The final match of South American qualifying today saw Venezuela thrash Bolivia 5-0 in a match between the bottom two teams.