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The Road to the World Cup Germany 2006 continues with games on Tuesday, June 1 and Wednesday, June 2. After the last game on Wednesday, the qualifying process will be one-third of the way through to determine which teams will represent the CONMEBOL (Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol) in the World Cup.
Bolivia-Paraguay (La Paz) June 1, 16:00 PM EST
On the first match of day, Bolivia looks to rebound from an embarrassing defeat handed to them by Chile in La Paz. That match, which unfortunately was tied into a lot of the political tensions between the two countries, ultimately cost head coach Nelson Acosta his job. Ramiro Blacutt tries to reverse the losing trend and will count on four veterans from the 1994 World Cup, led by Julio Cesar Baldivieso. Paraguay has been training in Sucre since May 13 hoping to reduce the effects of La Paz's high altitude. Sucre sits only 900 meters below La Paz's altitude of 3600 m. Paraguay enjoys 2nd place, only one point behind Argentina.
Venezuela-Chile (San Cristobal) June 1, 19:00 PM EST
Fresh off perhaps their greatest fútbol victory ever, Venezuela looks to continues its magical run. Last March, Venezuela entered the historic Centenario stadium in Montevideo, and trampled Uruguay 3-0. No longer the doormat of the CONMEBOL, the Vinotintos are back at home against Chile. The Chilean national team, under coach Juvenal Olmos, are trying to redefine their identity after the retirement of legend Ivan Zamorano and the frequent absence of injury-plagued Marcelo Salas. However, Chile boasts one of the most prolific goalscorers in Reinaldo Navia, who stars at America in Mexico.
Uruguay-Peru (Montevideo) June 1, 20:45 PM EST
After such an embarrassing loss at home, no coach usually survives to see the next match. Uruguay begins a new era with new head coach Jorge Fossati, who replaces Juan Ramon Carrasco. The Uruguayans hope to renew the faith of the local fans, who often take a wait and see atitude after such a lopsided defeat. Peru continues to baffle their fans with subpar performaces, especially after their historic tie at home against Brazil. Even with a plethora of stars playing abroad such as Claudio Pizarro and Nolberto Solano, Peru will be happy with a tie.
Ecuador-Colombia (Quito) June 2, 16:00 PM EST
Both Colombia and Ecuador are off to disappointing starts. Two years removed from qualifying for that nation's first-ever World Cup, Ecuador sits only one point above last-place Bolivia. In an attempt to add increased discipline and concentration, Ecuador head coach Hernan "El Bolillo" Gomez trained inside a military school and prohibited any player contact with the media. Colombia also continues with their 2nd coach after only five matches, but have been able to accumulate four points in the last two matches.
Brazil-Argentina (Belo Horizonte) June 2, 20:45 PM EST
Last but not least, the Clasico Sudamericano caps off the fifth date. Even though two perennial powerhouse only meet twice during this qualifying process, these matches have been historically the most attractive futbol played. Brasil will be without Ronaldinho Gaucho, but that won't matter. Brazil consistently produces enough quality players to field 3-4 national teams that could compete with anyone. Argentina, the current leaders with 11 points, will try to steal a victory on the road. Coach Marcelo Bielsa has not tipped his hand at the starting lineup, but has confirmed that Cesar Delgado of Cruz Azul in Mexico, will be one of the starting forwards.
For complete standings and a review of past matches, see the CONMEBOL homepage.
Bolivia 2, Paraguay 1: Reduced to ten men, Roger "Sucha" Suarez scores the gamewinner.
Chile 1, Venezuela 0: Chile pulls off an important road victory and now sits tied for third place.
Peru 3, Uruguay 1: Another loss at home, Uruguay has to regroup as Alvaro Recoba threatens to retire from the national team.
Ecuador 2, Colombia 1: A much needed home victory, Ecuador leaves Colombia in last place.
Brasil 3, Argentina 1: Three penalties scored by astro Ronaldo makes the game seem more lopsided than it really was.
Bolivia 2, Paraguay 0
Chile 2, Venezuela 1
Uruguay 3, Peru 0
Ecuador 1, Colombia 1
Brasil 3, Argentina 2
Let's hope the victory over Paraguay, and the collapse of Colombia, breathe new life into the Bolivian team.Posted by Miguel Centellas | June 4, 2004 02:59 PM