After the fiercely contested UFWC title changed hands last week as a result of Peru’s win over Bolivia in the South American World Cup Qualifiers the focus then shifted to Ecuador in the small hours of the morning (Uk time) as the Peruvians traveled to Ecuador for their first defence of the crown.
Since 2011, eight of the ten South American nations that make up COMNEBOL have held the UFWC crown with only Ecuador and Venezuela not being among the ever growing list of champions. Unfortunately for Ecuador they will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the accolade as Peru ran out 2-1 winners.
It was a game that did not spark into life until late on with the first 72 minutes of the game offering little, but then the action finally picked up a pace from that moment onwards. Three goals in six minutes would end up confirming the destination of the UFWC crown for another month.
Edison Flores broke the deadlock on 73 minutes and then just three minutes later Paolo Hurtado made it two and all but secured the win for the Peruvians. Enner Valencia did however pull a goal back a further three minutes later to set up a grandstand finish but by this point his team would require two more goals to earn the mantle of UFWC champions.
The win sees Peru sit 4th in the COMNEBOL qualification table with Argentina sitting below then in 5th on goal difference with just two qualifiers to go and guess who faces off next time around. Yes the holders have to go to Argentina where not just UFWC bragging rights is at stake but also a chance to all but confirm a place in next year’s World Cup.
This is the potential route of the UFWC crown between now and the end of the qualifiers – holders in bold
Argentina – Peru
Peru – Colombia
Argentina – Peru
Ecuador – Argentina
So if Argentina beat Peru and earn a 6th title reign in as many years next month then Ecuador will be the next team in line for a title shot. So all is not lost just yet, but by then they could be knocked out of the qualification process.
I’ll be back with a further update next month