Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tim Vickery in South America

Just a few rounds gone and, of the nine teams in contention, only two have yet to win a game. The other seven already have one success to their name, but nobody has two. The figures don't just show it, they shout it: World Cup qualification in South America is more competitive than anywhere else on the planet. True, Brazil are not in the running this time - as they qualify automatically as 2014 hosts - and the continent has retained all of its slots (the top four go straight through to the World Cup, with the side finishing fifth playing off against opponents from Asia). But even with so many places available, for South America's sides the short trip to Brazil will only come at the end of a long and bumpy road, full of pitfalls, especially away from home.

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