Colombia Clinch World Cup Berth, Ecuador And Chile Are One Point Away

By Juan Pablo Aravena
Rob Christy – USA Today Sports

Colombia completed a miracle this afternoon in Barranquilla playing against Chile, where they rallied back in the second half to secure a draw that put them in the World Cup in Brazil next year.

The visitors started pressing Colombia’s defensive line, and their strategy worked in the first half as they netted three times in 10 minutes. A penalty kick from Arturo Vidal and a brace from Barcelona star Alexis Sánchez put the visitors ahead as they seemed poised to get three vital points in their road to Brazil, but Colombia had other plans in the second 45 minutes.

José Pekerman’s men switched their strategy, and with more pressure and also some defensive lapses from the Chilean side, they netted three times after one goal from Teofilo Gutierrez and two penalty kicks from Radamel Falcao that allowed them to complete the comeback and secure their place in Brazil next year.

Meanwhile, Ecuador faced a tough test against Uruguay in a key game for both sides in Quito’s altitude. Both teams entered the match with 22 points, and in the end, the hosts were able to grab the three points, thanks to a one-goal victory that sit them in the third place on the standings.

With these results, Colombia became the second team to clinch a World Cup spot in the South American qualifiers together with Argentina. Meanwhile, Chile and Ecuador have 25 points, and they will face off against each other on Thursday at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago. A draw will put both teams in Brazil and would send Uruguay to the play-off round against Jordan.

The South American qualifiers will be decided on Tuesday, when the final match day will be played.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a soccer writer for Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google

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