For the Colombian national team, qualification now comes down to one final game, against local rival Peru in Lima on Tuesday.
The easiest path to the World Cup for Colombia would be a win on Tuesday. A tie or a loss make things much more complicated.
These are the required scenarios for Colombia to qualify for the World Cup next summer. The top four teams in the group will automatically qualify, while the fifth place team will face a November home-away series against New Zealand to gain entry.
If Colombia defeats Peru
If Colombia defeats Peru on Tuesday, they will have 29 points in the group and qualify for the World Cup. They could place anywhere from 2nd to 4th.
If Colombia and Peru tie
If Colombia and Peru play to a draw, Colombia will be guaranteed at least 5th place in the standings.
Chile currently has 26 points but wins tiebreakers with Colombia. Therefore a win or tie will place them above Los Cafeteros.
Colombia, on the other hand, owns tie breakers over Paraguay. A Colombia tie and a Paraguay win would put both teams at 27 points, but Colombia would finish ahead on those tie breakers.
Argentina would need to win to pass Colombia in the standings. A tie or loss would leave them behind.
Therefore, a tie against Peru would keep Colombia one point ahead of Peru, and ahead of Paraguay as well. They would finish anywhere from:
– 3rd (if Argentina ties or loses and Chile loses)
– 4th (if Argentina ties or loses or Chile loses)
– 5th (Argentina wins and Chile wins or ties)
A 5th place finish is not an automatic qualification. It would mean that the Colombians would need to win a home and away series against New Zealand in the Inter Confederation playoffs.
If Colombia loses to Peru
A loss by Colombia to Peru would make qualification difficult, but not impossible. Colombia would still finish 5th in the standings if both Argentina loses or ties and Paraguay loses or ties. A 5th place finish would mean that the Colombians would need to win a home and away series against New Zealand in the Inter Confederation playoffs.
If Colombia loses to Peru and either Argentina or Paraguay wins their final game, then Los Cafeteros would be eliminated from World Cup qualifying.