It was a night of contrasting emotions around the South American continent as there were a huge mix of joy and despair among the faithfuls. The final four teams that have qualified directly are Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay and will play in Russia next year in the World Cup finals.
Teams Qualified Directly:
Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia
Team advance to the Play offs:
As it happened:
Argentina needed a win to ensure their place in the finals and their captain fantastic Lionel Messi fired them into the World Cup thanks to a sublime hat trick. He scored twice in the first half and another one in the second half to make it sure that Los Albicelestes will travel to Russia next year. It was a tough encounter against the Ecuadorians who took the laead but it ended 3-1 in Argentina’s favor.
In Sao Paulo, Brazil demolished Chile as the Samba nation ran riot in the Rojiblancos defense. Chile lost 0-3 and that ultimately cost them the World Cup place. Sanchez, Vidal were toothless while Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus scored a brace to add Paulinho’s opener.
Uruguay ran out 4-2 winners over Bolivia and Luis Suarez scored twice for the 2011 Copa America champions. Bolivia’s both goals were own goals.
Paraguay were at home and was expected to do well but they lost to the bottom placed Venezuela and squandered their chance to qualify for Russia 2018. Yangel Herrera scored in the 84th minute to give Venezuela a consolation victory and break the Paraguayan hearts.
The crunch match of the continent was Peru against Colombia and both the teams managed a draw to make sure that Colombia straight to the world cup and Peru will have to go through via inter continental play offs. David Ospina made a howler that led to Peru’s equalizer, which ultimately knocked Chile out of the play off spot.