Brazil qualifies for World Cup, five teams fighting for final two spots

With its 5-0 win over Colombia Friday night, Brazil became the 14th team to qualify for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. And even with one day left in the tournament, the Brazilians have already earned the title as the 2010 Sudamericano Femenino champions. Chile and Argentina, who played to a 0-0 draw Friday, as well as Colombia all have a shot at finishing second and qualifying for the World Cup. Saturday, Italy and the U.S. play the first leg of their two-game CONCACAF/UEFA playoff. The winner of that playoff will be the 16th and final team to reach the World Cup.

Sunday is the final day of the CONMEBOL qualifiers. The team in the worst shape is Colombia, which is 0-1-1 with one goal scored and six goals allowed. But Argentina isn’t that far behind. The Argentinians are third (0-1-1, no goals scored, four allowed). Chile is in second place and has two draws yet has only scored one goal (and allowed only one) in its two matches. There are a number of scenarios, but the easiest way for Chile to qualify for the World Cup is to beat Brazil Sunday. If Chile loses, the winner of the Colombia vs. Argentina match qualifies. If Chile draws with Brazil and Colombia draws with Argentina, Chile qualifies. There are other scenarios, and they’re all based on goal differential. Also, news out of the Brazil camp is that midfielder Maurine partially tore her hamstring in Wednesday’s win over Argentina.