Peru’s second defence of the UFWC crown took them along a very arduous path in the small hours of this morning (UK time) as they were pitted against regular holders Argentina. The challengers were looking for their 6th title reign in as many years.
Not only that though they were looking to increase their chances of qualifying for the World Cup next summer. Unfortunately for Lionel Messi and co. neither plan came to fruition as Peru came away with an unlikely draw away from home.
One that bolsters their own chances of getting to Russia next June but also meaning they come through their second title defence unscathed. Argentina will get over the disappointment of not winning the UFWC crown soon enough but they have one game left in which to save their hopes of reaching the World Cup.
Peru are in the final qualifying position at present and they need to beat Colombia on Tuesday to qualify for the World Cup. A draw could see the ‘nightmare scenario’ of Peru keeping the crown but not making the World Cup.
So if Colombia win then it definitely goes to the World Cup where we a step closer to breaking the S.American stranglehold.
The perfect scenario would be them finishing 5th in the group and going into the intercontinental playoff next month. Giving us a title match against non S.American oppopsition straight away. A lot of maths to take place in that one so may have to get the abacus out on Tuesday night.
Whoever falls into the intercontinental play-off spot will then have to face New Zealand over two legs to see who makes the finals. The All Whites will be hoping that they do not have to make a trip to Buenos Aries and face the 2014 runners-up.
But we’re in the fantastic position where seven nations are fighting over four automatic and one play off qualification place, Not only that but four points are separating those seven sides. Uruguay can relax slightly as they have already got a play off spot at best.
Argentina and Paraguay face nations that have already been knocked out in the form of Ecuador and Venezuela respectively so you would imagine they would be heavy favourites to earn all three points and get themselves in the top five places.
If that is to be the case then Peru vs Colombia in effect becomes a sudden death play off for what could be the final qualification berth. There are going to be a lot of permutations as this arduous qualification process finally comes to a conclusion. Who will be celebrating in the early hours of Wednesday morning?