Just when World Cup qualifying in CONMEBOL appears to be following a pattern, the teams flip the script.
One side who is continuing a trend is Argentina, which struggled again without Lionel Messi. La Albiceleste lost, 1-0, to Paraguay at home, which leaves them just one point above the Paraguayans in fifth place.
Chile managed to gain ground on Argentina after sealing a late 2-1 victory over Peru in Santiago. Arturo Vidal scored both goals for La Roja as the hosts overcame a stunning equalizer from Edison Flores.
Here is a look back at Matchday 10 in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying and the updated standings.
ECUADOR FIGHTS BACK TO EARN POINT IN BOLIVIA
It appeared as if Ecuador was en route to a loss in La Paz. Enner Valencia made sure that did not happen.
Valencia scored twice as 10-man Ecuador came back from 2-0 down against Bolivia to draw, 2-2. Playing in La Paz is always a daunting test, so the Ecuadorians deserve credit for earning a result in the end. The only downside is that they’re only two points away from slipping out of the top five, but La Tricolor can recover some points against Uruguay away and Venezuela at home in November.
COLOMBIA, URUGUAY SHARE HONORS IN BARRANQUILLA
Colombia and Uruguay were responsible for the most entertaining game of the day.
Both sides exchanged blows, specifically with headers as the match finished in a 2-2 draw. However, Colombia was trailing 2-1 until Yerry Mina equalized on 84 minutes to salvage a tie. The late goal bumped Uruguay off the top of the table and down to second, with Brazil leapfrogging La Celeste by one point.
ARTURO VIDAL SAVES CHILE IN DERBY DEL PACIFICO
One of the most crucial matches on Tuesday was in Santiago between Chile and Peru.
The Chileans entered the game needing a victory. They were already trailing the top five by five points and could have slipped even further away with a loss to Peru. Thanks to Arturo Vidal, the Copa America champions defeated their bitter rivals, 2-1, after the Bayern Munich midfielder scored a fantastic goal from distance. La Roja is now just two points behind fifth-placed Argentina.
HAPLESS ARGENTINA FALLS TO PARAGUAY AT HOME
Argentina desperately needs Lionel Messi to return.
La Albiceleste were defeated, 1-0, by Paraguay in Cordoba with Derlis Gonzalez scoring the only goal of the game in the first half. Argentina has now dropped seven points in three successive matches without Messi and are clinging to fifth place. The Paraguayans are now one point adrift of the back-to-back Copa America finalists. November will definitely be a crucial month for them.
BRAZIL KEEPS ROLLING WITH VICTORY OVER VENEZUELA
The conditions were not ideal, but Brazil walked out of Venezuela with a 2-0 win.
A torrential downpour and half-hour delay could not stop the Brazilians, though. Venezuela goalkeeper Daniel Hernandez gifted Gabriel Jesus with the opening goal after a sloppy clearance, allowing Jesus to chip Hernandez. Willian added the second in the 53rd minute and cruised to victory. Now Brazil enters the next two matches on top of the CONMEBOL table with 21 points.
Standings (Round 10)
1. Brazil (21 points | 6-1-3 | 23 Goals For | 9 Goals Against)
2. Uruguay (19 points | 6-2-2 | 21 Goals For | 7 Goals Against)
3. Ecuador (17 points | 5-3-2 | 18 Goals For | 14 Goals Against)
4. Colombia (17 points | 5-3-2 | 15 Goals For | 12 Goals Against)
5. Argentina (16 points | 4-2-4 | 11 Goals For | 9 Goals Against)
6. Paraguay (15 points | 4-3-3 | 10 Goals For | 12 Goals Against)
7. Chile (14 points | 4-4-2 | 15 Goals For | 16 Goals Against)
8. Peru (8 points | 2-6-2 | 11 Goals For | 19 Goals Against)
9. Bolivia (8 points | 2-6-2 | 11 Goals For | 20 Goals Against)
10. Venezuela (2 points | 0-8-2 | 9 Goals For | 26 Goals Against)