The only side to have already qualified well in advance in CONMEBOL World Cup qualification was Alex Sandro’s Brazil, and they hosted a Chile side who travelled to Sao Paulo needing a result to be sure of qualification. However, this wasn’t to be as Brazil swept aside Chile, with Paulinho and a brace from Gabriel Jesus handing the five-time World Cup champions a 3-0 win. Alex Sandro played the full 90 minutes, and he and the rest of the squad will be delighted with a campaign that has seen them lose just one game.
Rodrigo Bentancur marked his first start on his second Uruguay appearance with a 4-2 win over Bolivia in Montevideo. The visitors took a surprise lead after an own-goal by Gaston Silva, however former Bianconero, Martin Caceres levelled things up in 39th minute, and just three minutes later Edinson Cavani put the hosts in-front. The victory was sealed in the second half with a Luis Suarez brace; Bolivia were able to peg them back further with another own-goal, this time from Diego Godin, but it proved nothing more than a consolation as Uruguay qualified in second place.
Despite not getting off the bench, Paulo Dybala will be relieved to see Argentina make the World Cup, La Albiceleste were in real danger of missing out for the first time since 1970. They went into the match in sixth place, outside the automatic and play-off spots, needing to win against Ecuador to be absolutely sure of standing a chance of going to Russia next summer. Argentina were on their knees after just 38 seconds when Romario Ibarra put Ecuador ahead. However, Lionel Messi turned things around by scoring a hat-trick to earn the away side a 3-1 victory, and secure a third-place finish and automatic qualification.
Juan Cuadrado played the full 90 minutes as Colombia drew 1-1 away in Peru. The visitors took the lead in the second half through James Rodriguez, before Paolo Guerrero pegged them back. The result sees Los Cafeteros qualify automatically for Russia in fourth place, whilst Peru go into the play-offs.