El Pibe de Oro puts his Job on the Line
El Pibe de Oro or “The Golden Boy” of Argentine football, Diego Maradona, will be putting his footballing pedigree on the line as Argentina prepare to take on Uruguay in the final game of the 2010 World Cup Qualifiers for the South American region.
One would haver thought that it would be easy for the Argentines to qualify for the world cup, especially with a team that boasts of Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, amongst other big names of world football. But come D-Day, Argentina are not just on the verge of being forced to play a qualification game, they might be completely out of the world cup even, results going against them. >
With just one game to go, Argentina, along with Uruguay and Ecuador, have strong chances of qualifying for the remaining direct qualification spot as well as the playoff spot.
The fixtures lined up for this day are as follows:
1. Peru vs Bolivia
A match that has no significance at all as the bottom two will look to battle it out for pride. With each team already confirmed of its position, there is hardly anything to look at here but plan for the next world cup already.
|Peru win: 1.87||Draw: 3.50||Bolivia win: 3.80|
2. Brazil vs Venezuela
Brazil’s run of 11-consecutive wins and 19-games undefeated was shattered in their last outing against Bolivia. This time around, they will be up against Venezuela where who are out of contention for the direct qualification spot as well. Their only hope, a rather far-fetched one at that, lies in their chance to qualify for the playoff spot however, for this, they would require Uruguay and Ecuador to lose their games while Venezuela, themselves, would need to beat Brazil by a margin of 13-goals.
|Brazil win: 1.18||Draw: 6.75||Venezuela win:11.50|
3. Chile vs Ecuador
The first of the two big games for the night - Chile take on Ecuador in Santiago for what is a do-or-die game for the Ecuadorians. With just one game to go, Ecuador need to get maximum points to secure a playoff spot. A win for Ecuador against an already qualified Chile would mean that the cat would well and truly be amongst the pigeons.
Ecuador’s win would put them on 26 points, one above Argentina’s current total of 25 and two above Uruguay. A draw is not good enough for the team as that would require Uruguay to lose by atleast 12 goals, against Argentina, to let Ecuador through. The Argentines do want a win, but maybe not that badly.
Chile are already through and for them, at the moment, things could be all about testing young talent at the top level. Will they make it easy for Ecuador and make things more interesting in the group, no one knows.
|Chile win: 2.65||Draw: 3.45||Ecuador win: 2.40|
4. Paraguay vs Columbia
Another meaningless fixture with a team that’s already through, hosting a team that can’t make it this time. Paraguay will be blooding youngsters while Columbia will be looking to play for some pride here. They can still end the table in 6th place however, that would not do anything but give them a morale boost at the end of it all.
|Paraguay win: 1.60||Draw: 3.65||Columbia win: 5.50|
5. Uruguay vs Argentina
Ah… The big one.. thought we wouldn’t get to it at all!!!
Argentina have their fates in their own hands. A win will see them go through, a draw will see them get through as well but a loss might just end their hopes of World Cup Glory. 6 defeats in 17 qualification games have been the bane of this qualification campaign and along with Alfio Basile, Diego Maradona also has much to be blamed for. > But it all comes down to this!!!
The Uruguayans also have it in their own hands, to tell you the truth. A win will see them qualify directly after having to face playoffs for their 2002 and 2006 qualifications. A draw might be good enough for a playoff spot provided that Ecuador don’t win at Chile. A loss will give Ecuador the chance to creep through at their expense. However, never discount the Uruguayans for they have been known to pull it out when the going demands it.
World Champions in 1930 and 1950, Uruguay are known for their fighting spirit, something that won them the 1950 title against the favourites Brazil. 60 years on, form shows that they might still edge Argentina as the favourites for this game but you can never discount the Albicelestes at any stage of any competition. >
While the Argentina squad may not be as star-studded or solid as the 2002 or 2006 squad, they are still a force to reckon with and that is something that Uruguay will be aware of.
|Uruguay win: 2.50||Draw: 3.45||Argentina win: 2.55|
Permutations and Combinations rule the final matchday in South America and no matter what happens, there will be absolutely no doubt that the crowd is in for a treat. There will be heartbreak, not just in Argentina, but across the world, if this giant of International football fails to make it to the World Cup.
Eternal hardworkers Uruguay will be hoping to make life simple and get an extended holiday by not having to appear for the playoffs again. For some players like Diego Forlan, they have been there and done that, knowing what it takes to get through something like that however, a direct qualification will be welcomed with open arms.
For Ecuador, the waiting game is on. Hoping for a good result in Montevideo will have to be clubbed with a strong performance against Chile. If they get three points, things will just get better as both Argentina and Uruguay will need points to get through. With odds supporting Uruguay to get the better of Argentina, time will tell whether the bookmakers at Bwin know something about the outcome of the day.
All in all, a hot mid-week International schedule is sure to make things interesting for the teams as they prepare for the final sprint to the finishing line for 2010 South Africa.
Related news & articles
Wednesday October 7
It is all going down to the wire in South America as the 2010 World Cup qualifiers are reaching their climax. More
Monday July 18
With Argentina and Brazil, both knocked out of the Copa America 2011, the tournament may have lost some of its sheen. More
Tuesday October 13
With the final matches for World Cup qualifying due to be completed this Wednesday, it’s time to analyze who can and who will make it to South Africa in 2010. More
Monday December 7
The World Cup 2010 draw is out and the lines are set in stone. More