CONMEBOL Qualifiers Restart In Race To The 2022 World Cup Qatar
The CONMEBOL 2022 World Cup qualifiers are on the horizon. As South America gears up for kick-off, we look at the planned action over FIFA's upcoming international football window.
Beginning on September 2nd with Bolivia vs Colombia and ending on the 10th with Brazil hosting Peru, this round of the competition runs across nine days. And with everything to play for and some tense battles on the horizon, including what should be a thrilling match between the continent's two football heavyweights Brazil and Argentina, on the 5th, the tournament promises to be action-packed.
So without further ado...
The South American qualifiers’ league of home-and-away round-robin matches is being undertaken over eighteen matchdays across ten rounds. The September window will see matchdays 9, 10 and, strangely, 6 being played out, taking the competition to the halfway point. Matchdays 5 and 6, due to be held in the March 2021 window, were postponed due to coronavirus restrictions. FIFA has since approved a triple matchday request for the September and October windows to ensure the tournament is completed on time (March end 2022). Matchday 5 is to be held during the October window.
In March 2022, when the competition concludes, the top four teams will advance directly to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The fifth-placed team will head to the inter-confederation playoffs in June 2022, with teams from three other confederations, for another chance at qualification.
Group Standings and Match Schedules
The Standings and Match Schedules for the upcoming tournament are as follows:
|Team||Points / Goal Difference||Games Played|
|TeamBrazil||Points / Goal Difference18 / 14||Games Played6|
|TeamArgentina||Points / Goal Difference12 / 4||Games Played6|
|TeamEcuador||Points / Goal Difference9 / 4||Games Played6|
|TeamUruguay||Points / Goal Difference8 / 0||Games Played6|
|TeamColumbia||Points / Goal Difference8 / -2||Games Played6|
|TeamParaguay||Points / Goal Difference7 / -1||Games Played6|
|TeamChile||Points / Goal Difference6 / 0||Games Played6|
|TeamBolivia||Points / Goal Difference5 / -5||Games Played6|
|TeamVenezuela||Points / Goal Difference4 / -6||Games Played6|
|TeamPeru||Points / Goal Difference4 / -8||Games Played6|
|Opponents||Date / Time (local time Qatar)||Venue and Location|
|OpponentsBolivia vs Colombia||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 2nd / 23:00||Venue and LocationEstadio Hernando Siles, La Paz, Bolivia|
|OpponentsEcuador vs Paraguay||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 3rd / 00:00||Venue and LocationEstadio Rodrigo Delgado, Quito, Ecuador|
|OpponentsVenezuela vs Argentina||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 3rd / 03:00||Venue and LocationEstadio Olímpico de la UCV, Caracas, Venezuela|
|OpponentsPerú vs Uruguay||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 3rd / 04:00||Venue and LocationEstadio Nacional, Lima, Perú|
|OpponentsChile vs Brazil||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 3rd / 04:00||Venue and LocationEstadio Monumental David Arellano, Santiago, Chile|
|OpponentsBrazil vs Argentina||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 5th / 22:00||Venue and LocationNeo Química Arena, São Paulo, Brazil|
|OpponentsEcuador vs Chile||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 6th / 00:00||Venue and LocationEstadio Rodrigo Delgado, Quito, Ecuador|
|OpponentsUruguay vs Bolivia||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 6th / 01:00||Venue and LocationEstadio Campeón de Siglo, Montevideo, Uruguay|
|OpponentsParaguay vs Colombia||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 6th / 01:00||Venue and LocationEstadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay|
|OpponentsPerú vs Venezuela||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 6th / 04:00||Venue and LocationEstadio Nacional, Lima, Perú|
|OpponentsUruguay vs Ecuador||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 10th / 01:10||Venue and LocationEstadio Campeón de Siglo, Montevideo, Uruguay|
|OpponentsParaguay vs Venezuela||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 10th / 01:30||Venue and LocationEstadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay|
|OpponentsColombia vs Chile||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 10th / 02:00||Venue and LocationEstadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia|
|OpponentsArgentina vs Bolivia||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 10th / 02:30||Venue and LocationEstadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|OpponentsBrazil vs Peru||Date / Time (local time Qatar)September 10th / 03:30||Venue and LocationArena Pernambuco, Sao Lourenco da Mata, Brazil|
Brazil is sitting at the top of the standings table, having achieved a 100% record during their unbeaten run so far. If the team can maintain their form over the coming days, they can only strengthen their leading position.
Argentina meanwhile is in second place on the table. However, they sit six points behind Brazil - who have 18 points and a goal difference of 14. The Argentinians 100% record was shattered three matches into the event with a 1-1 draw to Paraguay, followed by draws against Chile (1-1) and Colombia (2-2) in June. La Albiceleste will be gunning for Venezuela and Bolivia this round to try to maintain their position. They will also be hoping for a draw or win against Brazil to close the gap between them.
Ecuador (ranked just 53rd on the FIFA world ranking) has had a good start despite losses to Argentina, Brazil and Peru. They sit third in the table on 9 points. During September's outing, the team needed to beat opponents Paraguay, Chile and Uruguay to maintain their position against Uruguay's best possible results. La Celeste sits right behind La Tri on the board on eight points. Ecuador beat Uruguay 4-2 in the October window, so will undoubtedly be looking for a similar result.
Uruguay, 12-time World Cup qualifiers, has had a mixed tournament to date. They beat Chile 2-1 and Columbia 3-0, but lost to Ecuador 4-2 and Brazil 2-0, and could only manage goalless draws against Paraguay and Venezuela. If the squad stand any chance of maintaining their spot, and a thirteenth World Cup competition, they need to pick up points against Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador in the next week.
Columbia has been up and down the standings like a yo-yo throughout the competition to date. They sat in third place following the first round of the tournament, dropped to seventh place after the second round, and, after round three, are currently in 5th place on 8 points - hot on the heels of Uruguay and Ecuador. The upcoming contest will doubtless see Los Cafeteros, buoyant after their draw with Argentina in June, pursuing Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay with all their might this September.
Paraguay is in sixth position after the first three rounds, achieving just one 1-0 win against Venezuela, four draws and a loss. The Paraguayans will be looking for another win over Venezuela on September 10th and hoping for good results against Ecuador and Colombia to boost their position.
Chile has had a disappointing competition to date. The Chileans have managed just one 2-0 win against Peru. And, though they did manage to hold Argentina to a 1-1 draw in June, they will have to work hard against Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador if they stand any chance of moving up the standings.
Bolivia left round three in a far better position than anyone expected, having lost three matches and only drawn on one occasion. Up against Venezuela, the Bolivians came out fighting and managed a 3-1 win. They also took a 1-1 draw against Chile that window. So, at the end of June, the squad moved up two places from the bottom to eighth place. However, up against Colombia, Brazil and Uruguay in September, they will need a minor miracle to keep their fortunes heading in the right direction.
Venezuela has been in poor form for the 2022 qualifiers with four losses, a draw and only one 2-1 win over Chile throughout. La Vinotinto will need to pull out all the stops to break past Argentina and Paraguay to head upwards on the table.
Peru is languishing in tenth place on the table, despite a 2-1 win over Ecuador in June. The team will be taking on Uruguay, Brazil and Venezuela in September and hoping to rescue some points along the way.
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