Paraguay failed in their bid to finish at the top of the South American FIFA World Cup™ qualifying zone standings as they slumped to a surprise 2-0 home loss to Colombia at the Estadio Defensores del Chaco in Asuncion.
Second-half goals by Adrian Ramos and Hugo Rodallega saw already-eliminated Colombia climb to seventh in the final standings, while Paraguay must settle for third behind Chile and group winners Brazil after their fifth loss of the campaign.
With little more than pride resting on the result, neither side was prepared to commit much to the attack in a largely disappointing opening period which ended goalless. Paraguay almost hit the front after 57 minutes when Osvaldo Martinez rattled the post with a header after connecting with Nelson Haedo Valdez's teasing cross.
Gerardo Martino's men were left to rue that miss four minutes later as Ramos received the ball on his chest - amid shouts of handball by the home defenders - and advanced on goal before drilling a shot across Justo Villar and into the far corner. The hosts failed to find an answer after falling behind and the result was put beyond them with ten minutes remaining.
A swift counter-attack resulted in Wigan striker Rodallega firing home beyond the helpless Villar as the Cafeteros made sure of only their sixth win in 18 qualifying matches. The result marked the third successive occasion that Colombia have triumphed in this fixture in FIFA World Cup qualifying. The last time the Guaranies tasted victory over Colombia in a home qualifier came with a 2-1 win ahead of France 1998.