CONMEBOL WCQ: Colombia and Peru Down to the Wire
Los Cafeteros Could Miss Russia 2018
The Colombia soccer team’s loss to Paraguay (2-1) in Barranquilla has jeopardized their chance to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia. This Tuesday, the team must at least tie against Peru to secure an automatic qualification. However, with a victory, Colombia would drastically improve its chances.
Ten Minutes from Victory
In Thursday’s match, the teams were scoreless through 78 minutes of play. Then in the 79th minute, Falcao scored on a pass from Yimmi Chara to give ‘Los Cafeteros’ a 1-0 lead. With two minutes left in regular time, Colombian ‘hinchas’ were already celebrating the victory. Two minutes later, Oscar Cordozo and Antonio Sanabria scored for Paraguay. Mierda.
First and Ten Sports’ futbol staff were joined by hundreds of fellow fans at Studio Square in Astoria, New York for the match. FTS felt the defense let down after scoring the first goal, but in Colombia, the blame has been placed on goaltender David Ospina. Both Paraguayan goals came off rebounds he could not control.
Russia Within 90 Minutes
The biggest question before Tuesday’s match is whether Team Manager José Pékerman will adjust his starting lineup. FTS spoke to Steven Millan, a fellow Colombian ‘hincha’ and CCNY Futbol Club player who said, “I’m expecting Peru to go all out to try to get the win no matter what. However, I see a reserved Colombia that is going to play defensively and try to counter a Peruvian attack that will be leaving a lot of holes in the defense.” Millan also suggested Pékerman “include Boca Juniors Defensive mid-fielder Wilmar Barrios and add a player with more pace such as Muriel or Chara for Edwin Cardona.”
Sebastian Cajamarca, a lifelong Colombian futbol fan, who will be watching Tuesday’s game from Italy sounded less optimistic, “I am not sure what changes Pékerman should make but we shouldn’t keep substituting in Teofilo [Gutierrez] who isn’t changing the pace of the game or showing love for the jersey. Also, I feel [Juan] Cuadrado isn’t playing well for the national team. He’s playing selfishly. Cuadrado doesn’t deserve his spot because he hasn’t bought into the team concept and it’s dividing the team.”
The final game of CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying between Colombia and Peru can be seen on BeIn Sports 2 in the U.S at 7:15 PM EST. Stay tuned to First and Ten Sports social media channels for real-time updates during the match.