Venezuela and Colombia made the headlines on Matchday 2 of the South American qualifying competition for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, the duo recording ground-breaking victories over Argentina and Bolivia. Chile were all smiles again after posting a morale-boosting home win over Peru, while Uruguay secured their first ever point in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion to lead the table.
FIFA.com has the details on all four of Tuesday’s games in the CONMEBOL Zone.
Neighbours Chile and Peru served up a feast of attacking football in the latest Clásico del Pacífico, with the result in doubt till the end. The hosts looked to have sewn things up when Gary Medel’s superb right-footed drive put them 3-0 ahead at the start of the second half. The cultured Peruvians, who had already hit the post twice and would do so twice more, stormed back, however, with two goals in ten minutes and continued to press even after conceding a fourth. Chile’s star of the show was playmaker Jorge Valdivia, who forced the penalty that allowed Humberto Suazo to seal the points.
Paraguay and Uruguay shared the spoils in Asuncion in an eagerly awaited repeat of the 2011 Copa America final. A scorer in that 3-0 win for the Uruguayans, Diego Forlan put the visitors ahead and seemingly en route to their first victory in the Paraguayan capital, a city where they had lost on all five of their previous FIFA World Cup qualifying visits. Richard Ortiz had other ideas, however, tapping in from close range to rescue a draw for La Albirroja, though it did not prevent La Celeste from taking an outright lead at the top of the table.
There was more late drama in La Paz, where Radamel Falcao's stoppage-time strike gave Colombia a 2-1 win over Bolivia, their first qualifying victory in the city in five attempts. Los Cafeteros, who took the lead through Dorlan Pavon after sitting out last Friday’s games, had not won their opening qualifier since the Italy 1990 campaign. Having momentarily pulled level through Walter Flores, the Bolivians are the only side in the nine-team section without a point to their name.
The day’s most notable victors were Venezuela, who chalked up a historic win of their own in overcoming Argentina 1-0 in Puerto La Cruz. Defeated in all 18 of their previous encounters with La Albiceleste, the Venezuelans, who finished an encouraging fourth at the recent Copa America, finally broke the spell when central defender Fernando Amorebieta headed home from a corner midway through the second half. That goal was also La Vinotinto’s first in four home games against the Argentinians.
Player of the day
Radamel Falcao Garcia (Colombia)
Starting his side’s game in Bolivia on the bench, the Atletico Madrid striker needed just 14 minutes to fire his side to victory. The goal was the 25-year-old frontman’s second in 11 FIFA World Cup qualifiers for his country.
32 - The number of times Diego Forlan has now hit the back of the net for Uruguay, making him the country’s all-time leading scorer. In giving his side the lead in Asuncion, the Inter Milan forward move one goal clear of two-time Olympic and world champion Hector Scarone. And with 84 appearances and counting, Forlan is also La Celeste’s most capped player.
What they said
“I know people didn’t think much of Cesar’s (Farias) decision, but he knows what he’s doing. Fortunately we justified the faith he showed in us out on the pitch. We’ve made history but we need to keep our feet on the ground because this has only just begun. There’s a long way to go for us to reach the World Cup,” Venezuela midfielder Cesar Gonzalez defends his coach’s decision to leave several first-team players out of last Friday’s game in Ecuador and rest them for the home tie with Argentina.
No game: Ecuador