We are at the crunch of the South American qualification. 3 countries and 2 places to grab. I am saying 2 places, as we can largely assume that the 5th place team will go on an win the play off against the CONCACAF country.
2 big matches to be played - Uruguay vs. Argentina and probably even more important Chile vs. Ecuador.
Here is what is most disturbing about the 2 games - The Chile vs. Ecuador game starts 1 hour before the Uruguay vs. Argentina game. Why? This is going to have a big impact on the second game. FIFA should have made sure that both the games start at the same time.
Lets try to see what could happen, based on the 3 results the first game can have:
1. Ecuador loses to Chile = Both Argentina and Uruguay are spared of the elimination threat. Now its all about 4th and the 5th place. I can see a "serious" albeit an all-out game, with both trying to win or playing with an open mind, knowing they will live another day and probably will also go to South Africa.
2. Ecuador draws with Chile = Same as above (assuming Argentina is not going to beat Uruguay by 13 goals).
3. Ecuador wins over Chile = Now either Argentina or Uruguay could be eliminated all together. Both now knows at least one of them WILL definitely be eliminated. If Ecuador wins, Uruguay has no option but to win. Even Argentina has to win or draw (assuming Ecuador will not win 5-0 or more). This is quite surely a much more tough situation than option 1 & 2 above, for the Uruguay and Argentina manager and players.
The Ecuador game will surely finish about 30 mins before the second game. Pretty much the whole of second half is left before Uruguay or Argentina knows what Ecuador have got them into.
I am not sure this is an ideal situation. I am not sure, how the approach to first half would be from Uruguay and Argentina. The second half is perhaps easier to approach.
One can argue, that, Ecuador is not dependant on the other game. They just have to WIN. But in my opinion, both games should have started and finished at the same time. Thoughts?
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!