No, it's not an exaggeration. There is a possibility (albeit slight possibility) that Argentina and Brazil may not qualify for the second stage of the CONMEBOL qualifiers, thus eliminating them from World Cup contention.
Perpetua Nkwocha's two first-half goals held up for Nigeria in its 2-1 win over South Africa today in Group A action of the African Women's Football Championship. With the win, Nigeria became the first team in the AWC to qualify for the knockout round. In the second Group A game today, Mali beat Tanzania, 3-2, eliminating Tanzania from the tournament. In Ecuador, Argentina faces Bolivia and Ecuador takes on Chile in the first games of the CONMEBOL qualifiers.
In the biggest upset in U.S. Women's National Team history, the U.S. lost, 2-1, to Mexico in the semifinals of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers Friday night in Cancún. In the other semifinal Friday, Canada qualified for the World Cup with its 4-0 win over Costa Rica. The U.S. now must beat Costa Rica in the third-place match on Monday and then beat Italy in the CONCACAF/UEFA playoff later this month to qualify for the World Cup. In the CONMEBOL qualifiers, Brazil beat Venezuela, 4-0, and in the other Group B match Friday, Colombia beat Paraguay, 3-0, on goals from Paolo Dominguez, Maria Uzme, and Yoreli Rincón.
The semifinals for the African Women’s Championship (AWC) are set: Nigeria takes on Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea plays South Africa. The winners of Thursday’s semifinals qualify for the World Cup and advance to the AWC finals on Monday, Nov. 14, at Sinaba Stadium. At the CONMEBOL qualifiers in Ecuador, favorites Brazil and Argentina are unbeaten. Brazil has qualified for every World Cup, Argentina the last two. But Chile, Paraguay, and Colombia look to be legitimate contenders. All five teams are unbeaten heading into Wednesday. Canada capped off its phenomenal run in the CONCACAF qualifiers by beating Mexico, 1-0, on Monday. The U.S., meanwhile, beat Costa Rica, 3-0, to advance to the CONCACAF/UEFA playoff against Italy, which will determine the 16th and final spot in the 2011 World Cup.