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.
Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea became the 12th and 13th teams to qualify for the 2011 Women's World Cup after winning in today's African Women's Championship semifinals. In Ecuador, the biggest match of the CONMEBOL qualifiers takes place at the 22,000-capacity Estadio Alejandro Serrano Aguilar as Brazil takes on Colombia, two teams currently unbeaten in Group B. This match has huge implications for Colombia. A win sends the team to the second stage and it eliminates Uruguay from the group stage.
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.
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.
Four teams opened up the first day of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers in Ecuador. In Group A, Argentina beat Bolivia, 3-0, while Chile beat Ecuador, 2-1. In South Africa, Equatorial Guinea eliminated Algeria with its 1-0 win in Group B of the African Women's Championship. 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.
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.