Monday, 7 September 2009

CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying Round 15

Colombia 2-0 Ecuador
Peru 1-0 Uruguay
Paraguay 1-0 Bolivia
Chile 2-2 Venezuela
Argentina 1-3 Brazil

Colombia turned up the heat on Argentina after claiming a 2-0 victory over Ecuador in Medellin. The visitors were reduced to 10 men just after half time when substitute Pablo Palacios was dismissed for a second yellow card offence. Debutant Jackson Martínez put Colombia ahead with ten minutes to go and Teofilo Gutierrez wrapped things up deep into injury time to wrap things up. Uruguay's slim hope of qualification was crushed in Lima after Peru picked up only their second victory of the qualifying campaign so far. Hernan Rengifo scoring his first goal for his country with four minutes left after poor defending from Walter Gargano left Renrifo in an onside position to slot home. It got worse for Uruguay as Deigo Godin was dismissed in the dieing moments.

Paraguay moved closer to securing a spot in South Africa after a 1-0 victory over Bolivia in Asunción, Salvador Cabañas converting from the spot right on half time to keep Paraguay third in the table and likely to be on the plane to South African next summer. In Santiago, Chile kept themselves on course for next summer after a 2-2 draw with already eliminated Venezuela. Chile took the lead after 10 minutes when Arturo Vidal headed home a corner but Venezuela went into half time ahead. Firstly Giancarlo Maldonado levelled after chile had gifted possession to the Venezuelans with poor passing and the home fans were left in shock when a superb free kick from José Rey put Venezuela into a shock lead. The hosts though, levelled things 8 minutes into the second half after Rodrigo Millar slammed the ball home after a goalmouth scramble.

The big game of the weekend was in Rosario where mortal footballing enemies Argentina and Brazil faced each other. The game was moved away from Buenos Aires at the request of Diego Maradona. After an early effort from Leo Messi went wide as Argentina made most of the running. It was Brazil though who went ahead against the run of play after 24 minutes as Luisao was granted the freedom of the penalty box to head home a free kick from Elano. Six minutes the Rosario crowd were stunned as Luis Fabiano doubled the Brazilian lead. Mariano Andujar was unable to handle a shot from Felipe Melo and Fabiano tapped in from close range. Argentina pressed looking for a way back into the game, Julio Cesar then pulled off a fine save to deny Tévez but was helpless as Dátolo scored form 35 yards out to bring the crowd and his team back into the game. It proved to be a blip in proceedings, with the Argentina fans still celebrating Brazil went down the other end and Luis Fabiano latched onto a through ball form Kaka to life the ball over Andujar with a quite sublime finish. This result guaranteed Brazil will be in South Africa again next year whilst Argentina, under huge pressure to qualify automatically, face a tricky trip to Asunción on Wednesday night to take on Paraguay.

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