Monday, June 18, 2018

World Cup Qualification – Colombia vs Chile

World Cup qualification in South America rolls on, as Colombia takes on Chile on matchday 11 with one point separating the teams in the table.

Match: Colombia vs Chile

Region: South American Qualifying

Date/Time: November 10, 2016 / 3:30 PM EDT

Location: Metropolitano Roberto Melendez, Barranquilla, Colombia

3-Way 1×2 Lines:
Home: +100
Away: +295
Draw: +245

Handicap/Spread Odds:
Home: -0.5 +100
Away: +0.5 -120

Total Over 2.5:
Over +100
Under -120

Most Recent W. Cup Qualifying Meeting:

The two clubs recently met in the Copa America Centenario, but the last time they played in World Cup qualifying, it was a 1 – 1 draw on November 12, 2015.

Current Team Record/Points in Qualifying – Position

Colombia – 5 – 2 – 3 – 17 Points – 4th
Chile – 5 – 1 – 4 – 16 Points – 5th

Colombia and Chile meet for the first time since their Copa America semifinal affair this past June, as both teams look to secure bids to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The last time these two met, the right to appear in the finals to play Argentina was at stake, and Chile went on to beat both Colombia and Argentina, en route to back-to-back Copa titles.

As we enter the 11th round of qualifying in South America, Colombia and Chile find themselves separated by a single point in the standings, while Chile clings to the fifth and final position to qualify for the World Cup. Chile and Argentina each sit on 16 points, both on the cusp of qualifying for Russia in 2018.

As it stands entering the round, Argentina is on the outside of the playoff position behind Chile, despite the tie at 16 points. Chile holds the secondary tie-breaking scenario after goal differential, because the two teams are at +2 entering the round. Goals scored becomes next in line, and Chile has scored 18 goals to Argentina’s 11.

That could all change this week with the return of Lionel Messi to Argentina, after the superstar decided to return to international competition after a brief retirement from the national team.


Naturally, Colombia is looking to avenge the 2 – 0 defeat to Chile in the Copa America semifinals this past June, although Los Cafeteros did go on to beat the USA in the third-place game to salvage some dignity.

Manager José Pékerman has been stating to the press this week that he is considering asking Radamel Falcao back to the squad, for not only this important match vs Chile, but for potentially the last eight matches left in qualifying all together. Pekerman was quoted on the FIFA main page on Sunday stating, “Falcao has always been a key player in the national team, unfortunately his injury kept him out of the last World Cup. Now we’re in another stage and, after a timeout, he is finding his best form.”

Falcao has certainly found his form lately as quoted, scoring five goals in Monaco’s last four matches in his return to the French outfit. Of course, his recent stints in Manchester United and Chelsea ended with doubt about his effectiveness, but his return to France has certainly inspired Falcao to perform at a high level. Falcao scored twice in Champions League this past week, helping Monaco to three points in group stage over CSKA Moscow.
He scored twice this past Saturday as Monaco beat Nancy 6-0, aiding Monaco to within three points of Nice who sit atop the Ligue 1 table.

Pekerman is headed towards his fourth major tournament with Colombia since taking over in February of 2012. He has amassed a 35 – 12 – 11 record as manager with the national team, which includes their current 5 – 2 – 3 in qualifying thus far.

Colombia has three goal-scorers who are tied with three goals each through qualifying. James Rodriguez, Carlos Bacca and Edwin Cardona have all found the net to account for nine of the 15 goals scored through the first 10 rounds.


Chile has already lost four qualifying games out of the 10 played, leaving them in a tricky position with eight matches remaining. Tied with Argentina on the cusp of advancing, they are on that same edge of being eliminated from appearing in the 2018 World Cup as well, so there will be a heavy need for results to finish out qualifying.

Of course, being repeat Copa America champions has two impacts — keeping that pace is difficult and every club wants to knock you off that perch with any given opportunity presented.

Chile has two wins at home and two road losses in their last four qualifying matches. In five road matches overall, Chile has lost three outings.

Success at the World Cup has eluded Chile in their history. La Roja has only once advanced past the round of 16 on the grandest stage of football, coming in the 1962 version that was played on their home soil.

Manager Juan Antonio Pizzi took over for Jorge Sampaoli shortly after Chile won the 2015 Copa America title, and he now has a Copa America title of his own, after defeating Argentina in the finals this past June. Despite the success at the Copa, Pizzi has only accumulated a 6 – 2 – 6 record in 14 outings with the Chilean National Team.
Sampaoli is currently leading Sevilla through a La Liga campaign, as well as navigating a Champions League group stage currently.

Chile are led by Arturo Vidal, who is currently second in scoring through the first 10 rounds of qualifying. With six goals, he trails only Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani, who has seven to his credit.
Alexi Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas have each found the net three times for Chile in qualifying,

Final Analysis & Prediction:


Whomever takes three points from this contest is certainly going to put themselves in a better position towards 2018 in Russia. Colombia could potentially pull within a tie with Uruguay at 20 points with a home win, and Argentina is on deck in the next round of qualifying on November 15. Once again, we will cover the return of Lionel Messi when we preview that match.

For now, the total has our attention here, because an even money line on a straight Over 2.5 seems more than tempting. Let’s call it inviting, and call it a submitted bet to go with it. A 2 – 1 result, at the worst, is going to help us cash those tickets, and the show might not even stop there.


Expect some fireworks, a few highlight goals, and an Over 2.5 play as an offer with your hard-earned dough.

Again, at +100 and even money for your trouble, the necessity is there for both teams to go out and get a result. Feel free to invest in the both teams to score prop as well, should the price be reasonable, of course.

About EJ the Rainmaker

EJ Garr has been a freelance sports writer and handicapper for more than 20 years. He appeared as a featured writer in Beckett's Magazine for the 2014 World Cup. An experienced radio host, he also lends his voice to the radio shows on the Sports Palooza Radio Network, which includes a weekly segment dedicated to the NY Cosmos.

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