The revival of the CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament saw Argentina win the title and book their spot to the men’s Olympic tournament. Additionally, by finishing second Brazil also qualified to the games. The tournament saw all ten members compete in two groups of five nations with the top two advancing to a final group stage. The 2020 CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament was held in three cities across Colombia from January 18th to February 9th 2020.
Group A was won by Argentina who secured four victories over their opponents, finishing with the maximum of 12 points. The second spot to the final group stage came down to the final match between Chile and Colombia. A very defensive game saw neither team score causing them to finish level at points with 7 each. Colombia held the better goal differential over Chile (+4 vs. +2) which meant they were the team to advance to the next round. Venezuela finished fourth in the group thanks to a 1-0 victory over Ecuador.
Defending Olympic champions, Brazil won Group B by going undefeated and also securing the maximum of 12 points. Going into the final set of matches all four of the remaining teams had a chance to advance to the next round. Due to having a rest day on the final set of matches, Uruguay had to watch on and hope results go their way and it did. A very late goal during stoppage time by Peru prevented Bolivia from winning by two goals which would have leap frogged Uruguay in the standings as the latter won the match 2-1. Similarly, despite scoring the first goal, Paraguay conceded two to Brazil in a 2-1 losing effort meaning they were unable to get the three points to finish ahead of Uruguay.
In the final group stage, Argentina was able to clinch the title and Olympic quota during the first two matches where they defeated Uruguay and Colombia 3-2 and 2-1 respectively. Brazil on the other hand had 1-1 draws against both Colombia and Uruguay. After Uruguay defeated Colombia 3-1 during the final set of matches, Brazil needed a victory in order to qualify to the Olympics. A victory they got as they defeated Argentina 3-0 to finish second overall.
Argentina were winners in 2004 and 2008 and will be looking to repeat that success after being eliminated in the group stage at the 2016 Olympics while Brazil will be looking to defend its crown and extend their medal streak to four Olympics. This was the final opportunity for nations part of CONMEBOL to qualify for the men’s tournament. The final continent remaining is CONCACAF where the final two Olympic tickets will be decided.