World News – US – World Cup qualifiers in South America take place despite conflict and coronavirus


There have been encounters, strife and bad humor behind the scenes in preparation for the first two rounds of the World Cup qualifying campaign in South America

Clubs were reluctant to release players for games played in a part of the world where the coronavirus pandemic has not been brought under control Major League Soccer clubs were particularly reluctant The Seattle Sounders, however, released the striker Raul Ruidiaz for international duty with Peru, and probably wished he hadn’t Ruidiaz has tested positive for the virus, missed his country’s match against Brazil on Tuesday and will be in quarantine for a while

The next few days are vital Players will now return to their clubs and if others test positive the battle to secure the release of players for next month’s FIFA dates will be much more difficult And, in purely sporting terms, that would be a shame Because – despite everything – the South American World Cup qualifiers are capable of providing an exciting spectacle

– Neymar overtakes Ronaldo for second-most goals in Brazilian history
– Lautaro and Correa help Argentina overtake Bolivia

None of the teams had been in action since last November There was almost no time to train There were no supporters in the stadiums to create the atmosphere which is part of the tradition of the Continent games had absurdly long delays while video evidence was viewed Despite all of this, some of what happened in recent days is worth living in memory

As Neymar overtaking Ronaldo in Brazil’s scoreboards with a winning hat trick in Peru Admittedly, two of the goals were penalties but, in the difficult moments of the match, they were superbly caught In the only encounter at this day of two teams that qualified for the last World Cup in Russia, Brazil were twice behind against opponents well trained by Ricardo Gareca, and had to dig deep to win 4-2 Both penalties were a bit soft – the second, which put Brazil 3-2 in the lead with time running out, was highly questionable, and the Peruvians have every right to feel wronged

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But with Richarlison’s introduction on the right wing, Brazil looked at least as dangerous as they did in a 5-0 home battle against a very poor Bolivian side last Friday And bringing Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz into the lineup also seems like a good move.His passing range is excellent – he’s fed Richarlison with splendid long, diagonal passes – and he keeps the side going, offering defensive balance to the left, allowing thrilling full-back Renan Lodi to launch forward It sounds like Brazil’s best response to date to the heartbreak of the quarter-final loss to Belgium in the 2018 World Cup quarter-final

Argentina also managed to leave Russia 2018, where it was in shambles, with rookie coach Lionel Scaloni being a surprise success In 2019 they first built a team spirit, then they moved on. to build a team structure – and both were in evidence in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Bolivia

It was a huge game for the hosts Bolivia’s chances of making it to the World Cup are almost entirely based on maximum points at home They left key players out of the trip to Brazil last Friday for keeping them fresh for Argentina’s visit, and appeared to be on course for a victory halfway through the first half, when Alexander Chumacero was allowed to run too far and crossed for a precise header from the ‘Center forward Marcelo Martins Moreno It was evidence of defensive problems that continue to haunt Scaloni’s side

Continuing the game at the extreme altitude of La Paz is a nightmare, and there was a huge dose of fortune surrounding the equalizer on the stroke of half-time, when a defensive clearance hit Lautaro Martinez and flew over the goalkeeper But Argentina was worth it and ended up being worth their victory, decided when Lionel Messi and Martinez combined to put in place substitute Joaquin Correa for a rare left-footed goal

So, after two matches, Brazil and Argentina are the only teams with a maximum of points, while Bolivia and Venezuela are the only teams to still score a single point. So there is a traditional look to the table at this early stage. This, however, is a campaign with a tendency to create surprises along the way

Ecuador had Quito’s altitude advantage in the home kick-off against Uruguay But, after starting the last World Cup qualifying campaign like a train, they came out of the track and were in disarray on and off the pitch Their previous victory in a competitive game dates back to November 2016 After that they lost the next seven qualifiers they went to, and in last year’s Copa America they lost twice – including a 4 pounding -0 against Uruguay – and could only draw with a Japanese Under-23 team

And yet they were in control all along against an Uruguayan side who managed to make the score respectable 4-2 with two late penalties

Uruguay were without new Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani, although it was the absence of center-back Jose Maria Gimenez that could have been more meaningful The Uruguayans – with such an impressive harvest of young midfielders field – were somewhat disappointing in Thursday’s 2-1 home win over Chile, especially in the second half It appeared that coach Oscar Washington Tabarez believed he had made a mistake in bringing in his former stand-by Sebastian Coates to put veteran Diego Godin in the heart of the defense As a pair they are surely too slow And so came Ronald Araujo from Barcelona for this game and once again the defense was running away They could have conceded more than four

Tabarez now has a lot to think about, and will surely be brooding on his side When big teams have trouble, South American qualifiers can be a grueling campaign Brazil, for example, has flirted with disaster on the road of 2002, which he ended up winning Argentina lived dangerously in 2010 and 2018 Both greats got off solid starts this time Uruguay, however, could look over his shoulder Statistically at least they were the best South American team in two of the last three World Cups, and they would appear to have a lot of talent at their disposal this time around But things could get harder before they get easier Next month the Uruguayans left for undefeated Colombia, then home against Brazil

Neymar, Brazilian national football team, Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil, Peru, Paris Saint-Germain FC, Pelé, World Cup

World news – United States – The World Cup qualifiers in South America take place despite conflict and coronavirus



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