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CONMEBOL qualifying kicks off with unexpected results

The sixth CONMEBOL Women’s South American Championship began Thursday in Ecuador as ten teams fight for dual qualification in the 2011 Women’s World Cup and the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Group A features favorite Argentina, who is joined by Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.  Brazil, ranked No. 3 in the world, will take on Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela in Group B.  A round robin format will determine the top two teams from each group to go through to the next stage, in which a round robin format will again determine which two teams go through to the final.  Those two teams will receive automatic qualification to Germany 2011 and London 2012.

Argentina began the tournament Thursday with a a 3-0 win over the severely overmatched Bolivian side.  Meanwhile, Chile topped host Ecuador 2-1 in dramatic fashion amidst controversy that Jane Salgado’s game-winning goal did not cross the line into the net.

Brazil and Colombia both opened up Group B on Friday with wins.  Brazil topped Venezuela 4-0 as Aline Pellegrino struck twice in the first half and Maurine Dorneles Goncalves added a third just before halftime.  Renata Costa added the team’s fourth goal in the 51st minute to complete the 4-0 victory.

Meanwhile, Colombia topped Paraguay 3-0 with goals from Paola Dominguez and Catalina Rincón Yoreli Usme.  On Sunday, Brazil topped Uruguay 4-0, with Marta and Cristiane scoring a brace each.

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