Colombia staged a brilliant fight back to seal their spot in the 2014 World Cup, while Ecuador and Chile remain in pole position to book that flight to Brazil.
Colombia striker Radamel Falcao celebrates after scoring against Chile in their World Cup qualifier, October 11
It was a tense and entertaining encounter in Barranquila, with Radamel Falcao converting two second half penalties to earn his side a 3-3 draw against Chile, after the latter had taken a 3-0 lead.
Arturo Vidal put Chile in the lead via the penalty spot after Eduardo Vargas was brought down. Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez then scored two goals in the space of seven minutes to put Chile 3-0 ahead within the first half hour.
Carlos Carmona's sending off in the 66th minute proved to be a turning point, as Colombia pulled one back through Teo Gutierrez three minutes later, before Falcao's double helped them to a point which saw them qualify behind Argentina.
"I was surprised by what happened to us (in the first half), it could have been due the pressure accumulated over a long time," Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said.
"I'm very proud of my team, I've rarely seen a national team in this kind of match get back from 3-0 down."
Chile are still favourites to qualify, though, along with Ecuador, who beat Uruguay 1-0 courtesy a 30th minute goal from Jefferson Montero. Ecuador are third on 25 points, the same as Chile, who are three ahead of Uruguay, filled with superstars like Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani.
Chile and Ecuador face each other in their final World Cup qualifier, and a draw will see both sides go through at the expense of Uruguay, who will have to somehow find their way via an intercontinental playoff.
"Bitter about the final result, given how things went in the first half, and now hopeful going to seek the match that will give our qualification," Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said.
Venezuela's hopes of finishing at least fifth came to an end with a 1-1 draw over Paraguay.
Argentina emphasised their dominance in the South American qualifying with an emphatic 3-1 win over Peru. The South American giants, without Messi, came back from a goal down to take all three points.
Claudio Pizarro put Peru in the lead with a wonderful goal in the 21st minute before PSG playmaker Ezequiel Lavezzi grabbed himself a quickfire brace. Rodrigo Palacio added the third for Argentina early in the second half to ensure the victory.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013: Models' Ramp Walk Aired on Tuesday [PHOTOS]
- Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013: Bold, Sexy and Sensuous Lingerie Fashion [PHOTOS]
- Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013: Drooling Guys, Conscious Girls, Naughty Jokes on Twitter [SEE PHOTOS]
- Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013: Best Pictures From The Sexiest Show Ever [ SEE PHOTOS/VIDEOS]