Colombia have revitalized their World Cup 2010 campaign with a
hard-fought 2-0 victory over neighbors Ecuador. Both goals came in the
final ten minutes of the match.
It was anything but an easy game at Medellin’s Atanasio Girardot, where Ecuador aimed to collect one point while all pressure was on Colombia to try and win three.
The Colombians suffered a major set-back early in the second half when Fabian Vargas came off injured. As it turned out, the midfielder broke his ankle and will certainly be out for several months.
There was better news three minutes into the second, when Pablo Palacios collected a second yellow card for diving. However, the numerical advantage didn’t seem to help Colombia, as Ecuador actually began to dominate from this point.
But it was Colombia to get the goal they craved in the 79th minute, as a through-ball ended up in front of Jackson Martinez, who powered it past keeper Cevallos in his first ever game for the Colombian national side.
The second goal, which allows Colombia to surpass Ecuador in the ranking, came in the 94th minute when Teofilo Gutierrez scored from close ranger after getting the ball from the right side.
Colombia climb from seventh to fifth place, which would give access to a play-off with a CONCACAF team. Ecuador are now sixth, while Uruguay are seventh following a 1-0 defeat by Peru.
Next Wednesday, Colombia travel to face Uruguay for yet another crucial qualifier.