October 26, 2007

Argentina quick out the blocks, Enland in deep trouble

Over the past week, ten South American teams embarked on a tortuous two-year, 18-match qualifying journey to determine which four will qualify automatically for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. There is also the possibility of a fifth qualifier after a playoff with the fourth-placed team from the CONCACAF region.{{more}}

In the first two rounds of matches, it is Argentina, sparkling with the brilliance of the young Lionel Messi, which has jumped out front, being the only team with a 100% record this far. The Argentines had comfortable 2-0 victories over Chile and Venezuela to top the standings with 6 points. Meanwhile, football super-power Brazil, after an opening disappointing 0-0 draw with Colombia, recovered spectacularly with a 5-0 drubbing of Ecuador to keep Argentina in sight. Brazil is just ahead of Paraguay (on goal difference), both with 4 points. Surprise of the opening rounds was provided by Venezuela with a 1-0 away win over Ecuador.

The next round of matches will be played on November 17 and 20.