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Late goals give Paraguay vital win over Colombia
October 6, 2017 / 2:31 AM / 2 months ago

Late goals give Paraguay vital win over Colombia

(Reuters) - Two goals in the last three minutes gave Paraguay a 2-1 win over Colombia on Thursday and ensured both teams are still in contention for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia ahead of next week’s final qualifying matches.

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Colombia v Paraguay - Metropolitano Roberto Melendez stadium, Barranquilla, Colombia - October 5, 2017. Santiago Arias of Colombia and Angel Romero of Paraguay in action. REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga

Colombia were on top throughout and Radamel Falcao’s 78th minute goal appeared to have cemented their place in Russia.

However, two late errors by Colombian keeper David Ospina, combined with a number of missed chances by the home side, allowed Paraguay to keep their own hopes alive.

Ospina spilled the ball from a hopeful punt with two minutes remaining, allowing Oscar Cardozo to latch on to the loose ball and fire home.

A minute into injury time the keeper failed to hold a low drive and Antonio Sanabria slotted home to give the visitors three points.

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Colombia v Paraguay - Metropolitano Roberto Melendez stadium, Barranquilla, Colombia - October 5, 2017. Antonio Sanabria of Paraguay scores a goal against goalkeeper David Ospina of Colombia. REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga

The result means Colombia drop to fourth in the 10-team group, while Paraguay are in seventh. The top four teams qualify automatically for Russia and the fifth-placed side take on New Zealand in a play-off.

Slideshow (6 Images)

Leaders Brazil (38) have already qualified and second-placed Uruguay (28) need just a point to join them.

Two points then separate third-placed Chile (26) to Paraguay in seventh ahead of the final round of matches on Oct. 10.

Paraguay take on Venezuela at home, Brazil play Chile in Sao Paulo while two-time world champions Uruguay host Bolivia.

Sixth-placed Argentina, who drew 0-0 with Peru in Buenos Aires, go to Ecuador, while Peru, who occupy the playoff spot, will aim to reach the finals for the first time since 1982 when they take on Colombia.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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