CONMEBOL 2014 World Cup qualifying: There's still all to play for in South America

Dennis Grombkowski

The next round of games in South America's World Cup qualification group takes place on Friday, and no one can afford to get complacent.

Apart from Argentina having almost certainly guaranteed themselves a place at next year's World Cup, the CONMEBOL qualification scrap is still wide open. The absence of tournament hosts Brazil has made it even more competitive, and Friday sees the next round of games take place. At this stage, every point counts.

Bolivia vs. Venezuela

4 p.m. ET, local

One of the biggest surprises of this qualification group, Venezuela are currently sitting in fifth place. That's good enough for them to qualify for an intercontinental playoff, where they'd have the opportunity of reaching their first ever World Cup. They'll see this away trip to Bolivia -- who are almost certainly out of the qualification race -- as a chance to pick up more valuable points, but with the stadium in La Paz at a notoriously high altitude, it'll be more difficult than the table would suggest. Only Brazil have beaten Bolivia in their last eight home games.

Argentina vs. Colombia

6:05 p.m. ET, 7:05 p.m. local

This is unquestionably the match of the day. Argentina are perhaps the only side in the qualification group who look like safe qualifiers. They're at the top, five points clear of third-place side Colombia, who travel to Buenos Aires on Friday having been one of the most exciting international sides in the world over the last few months. However, they suffered a shocking defeat to Venezuela in their last qualification match, so they will be looking to get back on peak form. This isn't one to miss.

Paraguay vs. Chile

8:10 p.m. ET, local

Paraguay are sitting at the foot of South America's qualification table, and host a Chile who've underperformed of late. Their 2-0 win over Uruguay in the last round of CONCACAF games came on the back of four straight competitive defeats, leaving them level on points with Venezuela and only a couple ahead of Uruguay -- who are currently on course to miss the cut. Only a win will settle Chilean nerves here.

Peru vs. Ecuador

10:10 p.m. ET, 9:10 p.m. local

Probably the biggest surprise of all, Ecuador are currently in second place, four points adrift of pace-setters Argentina. They can't afford to ease up yet though, and could find this trip to Lima a challenge. Peru have a four-point deficit to make up to get themselves really in the qualification hunt, and while unlikely, it's not yet impossible.

Follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter | Like SB Nation Soccer on Facebook

More in Soccer:

Manchester City’s transfers betray a lack of vision

USMNT flawed, but on the right track

Japan qualify for 2014 World Cup

Transfer rumours from SB Nation and our team blogs

Full coverage of the NWSL

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.