CONMEBOL Qualifiers for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Down to the Wire

0 Shares

The CONMEBOL qualifiers for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 are down to the wire. If you need a little Soccer 101, World Cup soccer teams are divided into groups by continent. In this case, CONMEBOL is one of the six continental confederations and represents the South American nations. The members of CONMEBOL are some of the best soccer teams in the world. The federation consists of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. In their bid to qualify for a second consecutive World Cup, Colombia lost to Paraguay (2-1) in Barranquilla. The loss severely jeopardizes the team’s chance to play in Russia next year. Colombia must at minimum tie against Peru to secure an automatic bid to the World Cup. However, with a victory, Colombia would drastically improve their chances.

conmebolqualifiers2018
Courtesy of Bleacher Report

Ten Minutes from Russia

In Thursday’s match, the teams were scoreless through 78 minutes of play. Then in the 79th minute, Colombian striker Falcao scored on a pass from Yimmi Chara to give ‘Los Cafeteros’ a 1-0 lead. With two minutes left in regular time, Colombian ‘hinchas’ were already celebrating the victory. Two minutes later, Oscar Cordozo and Antonio Sanabria of Paraguay scored within minutes of each other. Mierda. First & Ten Sports’ soccer staff were joined by hundreds of fellow fans at Studio Square in Astoria, New York for the match. F&TS felt the defense let down after scoring the first goal, but in Colombia, the blame has been placed on goaltender David Ospina. Both Paraguayan goals came off rebounds he could not control.

conmebolqualifiers2018
Courtesy: The Sun (UK)

World Cup Russia 2018 Within 90 Minutes

The biggest question before Tuesday’s match is whether Team Manager José Pékerman will adjust his starting lineup. F&TS spoke to Steven Millan, a fellow Colombian ‘hincha’ and CCNY Futbol Club player who said, “I’m expecting Peru to go all out to try to get the win no matter what. However, I see a reserved Colombia that is going to play defensively and try to counter a Peruvian attack that will be leaving a lot of holes in the defense.” Millan also suggested Pékerman “include Boca Juniors Defensive mid-fielder Wilmar Barrios and add a player with more pace such as Muriel or Chara for Edwin Cardona.” 

Sebastian Cajamarca, a lifelong Colombian futbol fan, who will be watching Tuesday’s game from Italy sounded less optimistic, “I am not sure what changes Pékerman should make but we shouldn’t keep substituting in Teofilo [Gutierrez] who isn’t changing the pace of the game or showing love for the jersey. Also, I feel [Juan] Cuadrado isn’t playing well for the national team. He’s playing selfishly. Cuadrado doesn’t deserve his spot because he hasn’t bought into the team concept and it’s dividing the team.”

The final game of CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying between Colombia and Peru can be seen on BeIn Sports 2 in the U.S at 7:15 PM EST. Stay tuned to First & Ten Sports social media channels for real-time updates during the match. CONMEBOL qualifiers for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 will be exciting and a great excuse to open up some ‘firewater’ amongst friends.