CONMEBOL World Cup 2018 Qualifying Results: Thursday's Scores, Tables, Schedule

Daniel Kramer@dkramer_Featured ColumnistMarch 24, 2016

Bolivia's Rudy Cardozo (R) and Colombia's Guillermo Celis vie for the ball during their Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup South American Qualifiers' football match, in La Paz on March 24, 2016.     AFP PHOTO / JORGE BERNAL / AFP / JORGE BERNAL        (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup for South American clubs resumed after a four-month hiatus with four matches on Thursday.  

Competition continues for a brief stretch this week and next week before resuming again in August. 

Here is a look at the scores, the schedule for this month, updated standings and a recap of Thursday's matches.

CONMEBOL World Cup 2018 Qualifying—Scores and Schedule
Thursday, March 24Result / Time (ET)
Colombia vs. Bolivia3-2, COL
Paraguay vs. Ecuador2-2
Chile vs. Argentina2-1, ARG
Peru vs. Venezuela2-2
Friday, March 25Time (ET)
Brazil vs. Uruguay8:45 p.m.
Tuesday, March 29Time (ET)
Colombia vs. EcuadorTBD
Argentina vs. Bolivia7:30 p.m.
Venezuela vs. Chile7:30 p.m.
Paraguay vs. Brazil8:45 p.m.
Wednesday, March 30Time (ET)
Uruguay vs. PeruTBD
CONMEBOL World Cup 2018 Qualifying—Standings

Bolivia 2-3 Colombia

Edwin Cardona pushed Colombia past Bolivia, 3-2, with a goal in the 92nd minute that turned around his team’s fortunes during its qualifying campaign. 

Cardona, a substitute, had to slow up as an assist came in, but he quickly got the kick off before meeting the defense, netting the back-right corner past Bolivia goalkeeper Romel Quinonez.

The score and the win made up for what was an otherwise lackluster effort by Colombia in the second half of Thursday's match. It took a 2-0 lead at the break, but Bolivia bounced back quickly. 

Juan Arce knocked in the Bolivians' first goal in the 50th minute from the penalty spot, and Alejandro Chumacero tied things up with a connection from the edge of the box 12 minutes later.

Bolivia took far more shots—22 to seven—and retained possession for 66 percent of the match. The hosts looked to be building momentum for a late goal before Cardona’s heroic heartbreaker.

Colombia hadn’t won since Matchday 1 against Peru last November. It will next meet Ecuador on Tuesday with a more comfortable cushion in the standings, now at seven points and tied for third place.

Bolivia, meanwhile, sits tied with Peru for second-worst in the standings with just three points. Without much time to make up the deficit, Bolivia is surely in must-win mode. 

Ecuador 2-2 Paraguay

Angel Mena saved Ecuador from defeat with a goal in the 92nd minute to pull to a 2-2 draw against Paraguay.

Mena nailed a shot from the center of the box directly to the back of the net past keeper Justo Villar, who left his post trying to halt Mena’s momentum. 

Here is a look at the match-determining play, courtesy of beIN Sports USA:

Ecuador dominated the possession battle, 71 percent to Paraguay’s 29 percent, and took 31 shot attempts to its opponent's eight. 

Enner Valencia scored the game’s first goal in the 20th minute to give Ecuador an early advantage, but Paraguay’s Dario Lezcano tied things up just 18 minutes later on this play shown by TyC Sports Play:

Lezcano gave his team a one-goal lead with his second score in the 59th minute, which positioned Paraguay for a win before Mena's last-minute push.

Ecuador plays again Tuesday against Colombia and will look to keep its momentum after narrowly coming away with a draw. That same day, Paraguay meets Brazil in a contest of two teams separated by just one point in the standings in third and fourth place, respectively.

Chile 1-2 Argentina

Esteban Felix/Associated Press

Argentina overcame an early deficit and scored a pair of goals within a five-minute span in the first half that catapulted the reigning World Cup runner-up to a 2-1 win over Chile on Thursday. 

Felipe Gutierrez put Chile up 1-0 in the 1qth minute that gave the home team early momentum, but the Argentines responded quickly when Angel Di Maria netted a loose ball near the goal box into the far post to tie the game. 

Here is a look at the play, per beIN Sports USA, which came in the 20th minute:

Just five minutes later, Lionel Messi gave a light kick in Gabriel Mercado’s direction that positioned Mercado to break the tie and take a 2-1 lead, as shown by beIN Sports USA:

Chile, the defending Copa America champions, are in the middle of the pack in the CONMEBOL standings with seven points after five games.

They’re struggling under new coach Juan Antonio Pizzi, who replaced Jorge Sampaoli, but can get back on track Tuesday against Venezuela, which sits in last place and winless in qualifying competition. 

The Argentines were off to a sluggish start in World Cup qualifying before Thursday’s win, which was their second since qualifying competition began last fall. 

But with a match on Tuesday against a struggling Bolivia team, Argentina could quickly steer things in an upward direction. 

Peru 2-2 Venezuela

Peru’s Raul Ruidiaz came through with a clutch goal in the 94th minute to tie the game at 2-2 against Venezuela just before the final whistle blew. 

Ruidiaz netted a header on an assist from Edison Flores from the left side of the box that halted Venezuela from earning its first World Cup qualifying win. 

Venezuela looked to be on the verge of ending its winless drought after the first four games when taking a 2-0 lead through midway through the second half. 

Romulo Otero scored the first goal on a penalty kick to the bottom right corner of the net in the 32nd minute. Mikel Villanueva followed in the 57th minute with a connection from the center of the box on an assist from Juanpi. 

Peru is still well toward the bottom of CONMEBOL standings following Thursday’s draw, but Venezuela is in even more trouble with just one point to show for, earned in this draw. 


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