Colombia reignited their quest for Brazil 2014 qualification with a resounding 4-0 victory over a lackluster Uruguay in Barranquilla on Friday.
A second-half Teofilo Gutierrez brace, his first goals of the CONMEBOL campaign, an early strike from Radamel Falcao and Camilo Zuniga’s first international goal meant Los Cafeteros got their campaign back on track following their 1-0 defeat to Ecuador in the last round.
It was no less than Colombia players deserved as they dominated proceedings for long periods and took their chances with lethal efficiency.
The defeat was Urugauy’s first of the World Cup campaign and it will give Jose Pekerman’s men huge confidence ahead of the trip to Chile on September 11.
The hosts grabbed the lead after just two minutes when Falcao took advantage of a chipped cross from the right to slot past the despairing Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
It was Falcao’s second goal of the qualifying campaign and it sent the home crowd into raptures.
The highly sought after striker almost doubled his and Colombia’s tally on the 13 minute mark when he managed to get a low shot off from outside the area after weaving his way past three defenders. Muslera was equal to his effort on this occasion but it did underline Falcao’s danger around the penalty area.
Colombia continued to look comfortable as the half wore on with Uruguay’s attack lacking its normal potency, in main due to Luis Suarez’s absence through suspension.
Abel Enrique Aguilar in particular was impressive with his control in front of the back four essential to the shape the Colombia team.
Chances for Uruguay were few and far between, while at the other end it took some last ditch defending and goalkeeping on a few occasions to prevent them from slipping further behind.
Again it took less than three minutes for the hosts to find the net after the break. Gutierrez did brilliantly to latch onto a perfectly weighted through ball from James Rodriguez before slotting under the legs of Muslera from six yards.
The two combined again three minutes later with Rodriguez providing the assist for Gutierrez to grab his second and effectively end the game as a contest.
The Atletico Junior striker gave Muslera no chance with a powerful shot into the roof of the net following Rodriguez’s pin-point cross from the left.
Rodriguez came close to getting on the score sheet himself but his long-range shot whistled past the post on 70 minutes.
Falcao should have made it four when he was clean through on goal, instead his shot was smothered by Muslera.
Zuniga wrapped up the victory on the stroke of full time with a low strike from six-yards which squirmed under Muslera.