Last night, four teams opened up the first day of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers in Ecuador. In Group A, Argentina beat Bolivia, 3-0, with Andrea Ojeda (Boca Juniors) scoring her first two international goals and Estefanía Banini adding Argentina’s third goal.
Also in Group A last night, Chile broke a 1-1 tie in the 44th minute on a goal by Daniela Pardo (Union la Calera) to beat Ecuador, 2-1. Chile took a 1-0 lead in the second minute off a goal from Nathalie Quezada, who plays for Colo-Colo of La Primera División de Chile. Ecuador’s Monica Quintero tied the game in the 42nd minute two minutes before Pardo’s game-winner. Ecuador almost equalized late in the game, but missed a penalty kick in the 87th minute. Today in Group B, Paraguay plays Colombia and Brazil takes on Venezuela.
Today in South Africa, Equatorial Guinea eliminated Algeria with its 1-0 win in Group B of the African Women’s Championship. Equatorial Guinea plays Ghana Monday in its final game in Group B. In the second match today, Cameroon came back from a goal down to beat Ghana, 2-1. Nigeria is still the only team that has advanced to the knockout stage. Cameroon plays Algeria Monday. On Sunday, it’s the final day for Group A with Mali versus South Africa and Nigeria versus Tanzania.
Tonight in Cancún, the semifinals of the CONCACAF qualifiers take place with Canada facing Costa Rica in the first match followed by the U.S. versus Mexico. The winners play Monday in the championship match. The losers play Monday in the third-place match, and the winner of that game will face Italy later this month in the UEFA/CONCACAF playoff to determine which team advances to the World Cup.