South American qualification for the World Cup finals looks deceptively easy. There is one group, 10 teams and almost half the teams qualify (exactly half if the team that finishes 5th wins its inter continental play off). Only one team from South America’s confederation, CONMEBOL, has failed to qualify for the World Cup: Venezuela.
Aside from the fact that South American qualification has three former World Cup winners in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, almost every game represents an intense rivalry.
Brazil v Argentina, the Superclasico Sudamericano is well known. Argentina v Uruguay is one of the oldest international rivalries in world football. And neighbours Chile and Peru fight the Clásico del Pacífico which would, once again, flare up during qualification for Russia 2018.
This is the story of Peru’s historic qualification for Russia 2018.