There was not much left to distribute in South America: a single option that will be disputed between Peru, Colombia and Chile to reach Qatar via the playoffs is defined this Tuesday on the last date of the South American pre-world championship.
It will be a day with three countries on the verge of a nervous breakdown and another four, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay, relaxed after having achieved direct qualification for the 2022 World Cup. The remaining three, Paraguay, Bolivia and Venezuela, disappointed again.
Peru, fifth with 21 points, is the closest to the playoffs, ahead of Colombia (sixth, with 20 points) and Chile (seventh, with 19). With a victory this Tuesday against the eliminated Paraguay in Lima, Ricardo Gareca’s team will go to the playoff against the fifth in Asia in a single match on June 13 or 14 in Doha.
In the event of a draw, the red and white team will have to wait until Colombia does not beat Venezuela at home and Chile does not do the same against Uruguay in Santiago.
On the eve of the complicated duel with Paraguay, Peruvians seek to calm their anxiety by taking refuge in shamanic ceremonies that have heralded the Inca classification.
With swords and amulets, four shamans cast a spell outside the National Stadium in Lima on Monday to nullify the effectiveness of the Paraguayan team and access the playoffs, as happened in the 2018 World Cup in Russia after 36 years without qualifying for an appointment. maximum.
“After taking ayahuasca (a traditional drink from the Amazon), we have visualized the triumph of the Peruvian team. You can see the joy of the Peruvian people,” shaman Walter Alarcón, president of the Organization of Shamans of Peru, told AFP.
Colombia will need more than spells. They must defeat the weak Venezuela, because if they tie it will depend on a fall in Peru and Chile to go to the playoffs.
The 3-0 victory against eliminated Bolivia on Thursday in the penultimate date ended an incredible streak of seven games without wins and without scoring.
The coffee growers are now betting everything on their new figure, striker Luis Díaz, who paved the way for Reinaldo Rueda’s team to return to winning ways.
And Chile is so committed that it will have to appeal to a multi-religious prayer to defeat an emboldened Uruguay and wait for the planets to align in Lima and Puerto Ordaz, with defeats for Peru and Colombia.
With their tickets in their pockets for a long time, the leader Brazil and his escort Argentina aim to decorate their statistics in the epilogue of the pre-world championship, although they still have a classic suspended due to invasion of the pitch of the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo by Brazilian health agents in middle of the pandemic.
In a great moment, with Lionel Messi in connection with the Argentine public as he does not have in the French PSG, the albiceleste wants to finish the pre-world cup against Ecuador extending an undefeated 30 games, including the Copa América 2021, which ended a drought of 28 years without titles.
Ecuador will celebrate before its public the classification to Qatar that it sealed on the previous date, but the party will be complete if it defeats Argentina this Tuesday in Guayaquil.
It remains floating if the game that Argentina thrashed Venezuela 3-0 last Friday in Buenos Aires, was the last that Messi (34 years old) played with the Albiceleste jersey in his country.
Brazil, on the other hand, is looking to snatch a record from its arch-rival.
Qualified for the World Cup since November and unbeaten leader with 42 units in 16 games, the ‘Seleção’ will break the record for most points in the South American tie if they win, without the suspended Neymar and Vinicius Jr, against the Bolivians on the last day of the qualifier.
The mark in the current competition format (10 teams, all against all, established for the road to France-1998) is in the hands of Marcelo Bielsa’s Argentina, who scored 43 points on the road to Korea and Japan-2002.