La Paz (Bolivia), Sep 6 (IANS) Chile could find themselves forced into a playoff for a berth in the 2018 football World Cup after losing 0-1 to Bolivia.
Though many visiting squads find it hard playing here, which sits 3,650 meters (11,975 feet) above sea level, the last time Chile lost a World Cup qualifier here was 17 years ago, reports Efe.
Bolivia, already eliminated from the battle for World Cup slots, had more chances in the opening 45 minutes, but neither side looked sharp and the half ended scoreless.
The hosts seized the advantage in the 58th minute, when Juan Carlos Arce converted from the spot after Chile’s Marcelo Diaz was called for handball.
Bolivia managed to defend the lead despite going down to 10 men in the 90th minute.
With 23 points from 16 matches, Chile started the day in the fourth and final direct qualifying berth from South America, but Peru topped Ecuador 2-1 in Quito on Tuesday to climb to 24 points.
Argentina, with 23 points, are in action later Tuesday against last-place Venezuela.
The fifth-place South American finisher will face an inter-confederation playoff for a ticket to next year’s tournament in Russia.
Leader Brazil and second-place Colombia fought to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday in Barranquilla. The Brazilians, who had already clinched a World Cup spot, climb to 37 points, followed by Colombia with 26.
Uruguay, now with 24 points, are away to seventh-place Paraguay (21 points) Tuesday night.