The South American zone of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification saw ten teams competing for places in the finals in South Africa. The format is identical to that used for the previous three World Cup qualification tournaments held by CONMEBOL. Matches were scheduled so that there were always two games within a week, which was aimed at minimizing player travel time, particularly for players who were based in Europe.
The top four teams in the final standings qualified automatically for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The fifth-placed team met the fourth-placed team from the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in a two-legged play-off for a place at the World Cup.
On 24 November 2008, FIFA suspended the Peruvian Football Federation from all international competition due to governmental interference in its operations. The suspension was lifted on 20 December 2008.
The round-by-round fixtures were same as the 2006 qualifying tournament.
Play-off against CONCACAF team
The team from fourth place in the CONCACAF qualifying fourth round (Costa Rica) entered into a home and away play-off against the team which finished fifth in the CONMEBOL qualifying group (Uruguay). The winner of this play-off qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals. The draw for the order in which the two matches were played was held on 2 June 2009 during the FIFA Congress in Nassau, the Bahamas.
There were 234 goals scored in 92 games, for an average of 2.54 goals per game (Costa Rica's single goal in the inter-confederation play-offs not included).
* FIFA.com: Scorer stats