Women's World Cup '99: South American Qualifying to Start March 1

The South American Women's Championship, which will determine one and possibly two of the competing countries in the 1999 Women's World Cup, will take place in Mar Del Plata, Argentina from March 1-15. The champion of the ten-team tournament will automatically advance to USA '99, while the runner-up will meet the second-place team from CONCACAF in a two-leg playoff for a berth at the World Cup. Brazil, which finished fourth at the 1996 Olympics and recorded its first-ever win over the USA in December, is the heavy favorite, although host Argentina is expected to challenge as well. Here is the schedule for the tournament:

First Round

Group A March 2 -- Brazil vs. Peru, Colombia vs. Venezuela. March 4 -- Brazil vs. Colombia, Chile vs. Venezuela. March 6 -- Brazil vs. Venezuela, Chile vs. Peru. March 8 -- Venezuela vs. Peru, Chile vs. Colombia. March 10 -- Colombia vs. Peru, Brazil vs. Chile. Group B March 1 -- Argentina vs. Bolivia, Paraguay vs. Uruguay. March 3 -- Uruguay vs. Ecuador, Argentina vs. Paraguay. March 5 -- Argentina vs. Uruguay, Ecuador vs. Bolivia. March 7 -- Uruguay vs. Bolivia, Ecuador vs. Paraguay. March 9 -- Bolivia vs. Paraguay, Argentina vs. Ecuador.

Semifinals

March 13 in Mar Del Plata Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up, Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up.

Third-Place Match

March 15 in Mar Del Plata Semifinal losers

Championship

March 15 in Mar Del Plata Semifinal winners
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