Colombia recorded an impressive 3-1 win over neighbors Ecuador in the South American section of World Cup 2018 qualifying on Tuesday.
A brace of goals from striker Carlos Bacca ensured a second World Cup qualifying victory in a week for the “Cafeteros”, thus ending Ecuador’s unbeaten start to the campaign.
The win puts Jose Pekerman’s side back in contention for qualification for the World Cup in Russia, having lost their last home game to Argentina.
Pekerman kept faith with the majority of the side who defeated Bolivia last week and the he was rewarded with an impressive display of attacking football.
Striker Carlos Bacca struck his first in 15th minute following an inch-perfect pass by James Rodriguez to open the scoring.
Colombia dominated from there on in, but missed a host of guilt-edged chances before the break with Real Madrid star James the culprit on three occasions.
Colombia began the second half brightly and Sebastian Perez settled the nerves of the home crowd in Barranquilla with his first international goal in the 47th minute.
The Atletico Nacional midfielder finished acrobatically from a sublime Edwin Cardona cross.
The visitors continued to battle, hitting the bar in the 58th minute but it was Bacca again who hit the net to move the result beyond doubt in the 66th minute.
The AC Milan forward netted his second following good work from James and Cuadrado after a botched clearance by Ecuador’s goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez.
To their credit, Ecuador fought to the end and scored a consolation in the final minute as Michael Arroyo curled a sublime free-kick passed David Ospina in the Colombia goal.
The 3-1 win moves Colombia, perhaps temporarily into the top four of the CONEMBOL World Cup standings.