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Colombia and Chile close in on World Cup qualification

Associated Press
Sep 07, 2013 at 10:40pm IST

Baranquilla, Colombia: Colombia and Chile moved to the brink of qualification for next year's World Cup by winning key South American qualifiers on Friday, while Uruguay boosted their chances and Paraguay avoided elimination with a victory.

Colombia won 1-0 at home against Ecuador and Chile completed a 3-0 home victory over Venezuela, meaning both teams can finish no worse than fifth, which yields a position in an intercontinental qualifier while the top four automatically go through to Brazil 2014.

James Rodriguez scored the sole goal in the 30th minute for Colombia, which are level on 26 points with idle Argentina atop the nine-team group, two points ahead of Chile which have only two games to play while the other top five teams have three.

Colombia and Chile close in on World Cup qualification

Colombia won 1-0 at home against Ecuador and Chile completed a 3-0 home victory over Venezuela.

Chile's opening goal came from Eduardo Vargas in the 10th minute and Marcus Gonzalez doubled the hosts' advantage in the 30th before Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal sealed the result in the 85th.

Ecuador are in fourth place on 21 points, two ahead of Uruguay which won 2-1 at Peru thanks to two Luis Suarez goals.

The Liverpool striker, who is serving a suspension in the English Premier League for biting an opponent, put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute and doubled the advantage in the 67th.

Jefferson Farfan pulled a goal back for Peru in the 84th, but the hosts could not find an equaliser.

Venezuela are three points behind Uruguay and having played one game more, while Peru remains on 14 points. Paraguay's 4-0 home victory over Bolivia kept alive their faint hopes of qualification, retaining a mathematical chance of fifth but unable to make the top four. The defeat ended Bolivia's hopes.

Jonathan Fabbro, Roque Santa Cruz, Richard Ortiz and Gustavo Gomez scored for Paraguay.

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