RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazil is in, and over the next week three more South American countries will join the five-time champions at the World Cup in Russia.
The fifth-place team from the region will also keep its chances alive, facing a playoff next month against New Zealand. That winner will also advance.
With two matches to play, Uruguay and Colombia are in the best shape to reach the World Cup. The biggest shock could be two-time champion Argentina, which will battle for a spot against Peru, Chile, Paraguay and Ecuador. Bolivia and Venezuela have been eliminated.
Argentina, the runner-up three years ago in Brazil, has not missed a World Cup since 1970.