Colombia needed to secure victory Tuesday on the final matchday of the World Cup qualifiers. In a highly-contested match against Peru, a goal by striker James Rodríguez in minute-55 reversed La Selección’s bitter defeat last week in Barranquilla’s Metropolitano stadium against Paraguay.
But as Colombia seemed to break Peru’s advances, a free-kick by José Paolo Guerrero equalized the score in minute 77. Both teams faced an emotional game, and while Colombia played its heart-out until the final minutes, in Quito, Argentina’s Lionel Messi scored three goals against Ecuador, securing the Albiceleste’s place in Russia 2018.
In Sao Paulo, Brazil’s La Selecao eliminated Chile, and indirectly maintained Colombia in a fourth place ranking.
With the 1-1 result in Lima, Colombia has qualified directly for the Russia 2018 World Cup. Peru must face New Zealand for the 5th place play-off.