After giving themselves emphatic victories on the first day, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia will defend their leadership of the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup on Tuesday during the second day, a crucial moment for the group of the teams they chase.
The extensive Conmebol qualifying round, which ends in mid-September 2025, leaves Brazil, Uruguay, world champion Argentina and Colombia at the top of the table with 3 points. Paraguay and Peru followed them with 1, while Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador were the victims of the initial kickoff.
South America has six direct places for the World Cup to be organized by the United States, Canada and Mexico, while the seventh-placed team will play a playoff against a team from another continent. In short, two more tickets were contested than in the previous pre-World Cup rounds.
A historic Neymar against Peru
The new all-time top scorer of the Brazilian men’s Seleção arrived in Lima.
The ’10’ Neymar, 31, lived an unforgettable moment on Friday against Bolivia by surpassing ‘O Rei’ Pelé in the table of the top scorers of Canarinha, who now puts himself in top of the list with 79 goals, two more than the late world football idol.
‘Ney’ was the heart of an overwhelming Brazil (5-1) against La Verde, in the optimistic debut of Fernando Diniz, the Fluminense coach, as an interim of the five-time world champion team until the Italian Carlo Ancelotti will end his contract with Real Madrid in the middle of 2024 and take the reins.
The attractive offensive proposal of Brazil, which in that country is labeled “Dinizism”, which has more than the current Neymar and is convinced of his role as the leader of the team, will have a greater test of resistance on Tuesday during the visit in Peru.
In Peru, on the other hand, the optimism surrounding Juan Reynoso’s team is relatively modest, and even more so after the 0-0 against Paraguay in Ciudad del Este, where Pedro Gallese was a goal figure, avoiding a tragedy.
“We miss and need more. We always have to improve.” That was clear for Paolo Guerrero, the historic 39-year-old Peruvian gunner, where Peru pressed his talent and experience to get without a convincing generation replacement in that and other positions. .
Messi starts in La Paz?
Bolivia’s luck couldn’t be worse on the road to the 2026 World Cup. In the beginning, Brazil threw him on the canvas five times – and he was saved from the worst evil – and now the world champion Argentina is waiting for him, which he will receive at 3,650 m altitude in La Paz.
And even if the height plays as a factor in favor of La Verde, as has happened on other occasions, the football reality of the team led by Argentine Gustavo Costas is very poor.
Scaloni and his coaching staff are clear about this, which is why they are considering resting some of their key men.
What is not known is whether star Lionel Messi, scorer of the goal in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Ecuador and who asked for a substitution due to fatigue three minutes from the end of the Monumental match, will start or start on the bench. .
Scaloni faced this problem, because Messi had a string of 12 games (11 with Inter Miami, 1 with Argentina) in 49 days after his debut on July 21 with the Herons.
At the age of 36, the exposure of the captain of the Albiceleste in the 90-minute grind in La Paz is not justified, but in the world of football it is known that the winner of seven Ballon d’Ors always wants to play and his lexicon the word “no” rest”.
Ecuador measures up to Uruguayan model Bielsa
The model of Uruguay Bielsa started with carbure. Chile’s 3-1 loss at Centenario, with a team led by Federico Valverde (Real Madrid), Darwin Núñez (Liverpool) and Nicolás de la Cruz (River Plate), fueled hopes for a new World Cup qualification for Uruguayan fans.
And that illusion has even more value considering that the victory, in which traces of the style of football promoted by Bielsa, was achieved without the presence of his two historic and veteran scorers, Luis Suárez and Édinson Cavani, absent from the first call. Argentine coach official.
Chile were completely outclassed by Uruguay, but Ecuador will measure the true reality of the Celeste when they face each other in Quito, where the 2,850 m altitude brings back bitter memories for Charrúas.
Ecuador left Buenos Aires empty-handed, but the feelings are good with the team led by the Spaniard Félix Sánchez, who remains a good part of the Tricolor playing in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Those from the center of the world do not have the margin to allow themselves many losses, because they start the World Cup dispute with the pressure of three points less due to the penalty imposed by TAS for improper inclusion of winger Byron Castillo in the last qualifying round.
Chile and an uncomfortable visit
Colombia, one of the leaders in the tie thanks to its 1-0 victory over Venezuela in Barranquilla, arrived in Santiago with the intention of taking care of La Roja’s injury.
On the way to Qatar-2022, the coffee growers took a 2-2 draw from Chile, and due to the new results of the first round of the North American World Cup qualifiers, Colombia is not far from leaving Santiago with have something in their hands.
The Argentine coach Néstor Lorenzo opted for an amalgam between old acquaintances, such as James Rodríguez, Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina, with young promises such as Luis Díaz (Liverpool), Jhon Arias ( Fluminense) and Jorge Carrascal (Dinamo Moscow). And the victory against Vinontino was the reward for that combination.
Chile, on the other hand, showed a worried face in Montevideo, which is still hidden by the remains of a golden generation, architect of the 2015 and 2016 Copa América titles, which cannot be replaced.
Venezuela-Paraguay, on the rebound
Paraguay’s goalless draw with Peru was a good starting point for the team led by twin Guillermo Barros Schelotto, considering they had Peru on the ropes in Ciudad del Este until goalkeeper Gallese became game number.
The only thing missing is the goal, and now he must find them during his visit to Venezuela in Maturín.
La Vinotinto will show up with a loss in Colombia, where its presentation will be acceptable regardless of the result. Now he has a chance to add to start feeding hopes of qualifying for a senior World Cup for the first time.