Chile 1-1 Colombia
World Cup Qualifier
Estadio Nacional Julio Martinez Pradanos, Santiago
Scorers: Vidal (Chile); Rodriguez (Colombia)
A World Cup qualifying stalemate saw Chile successfully defend their UFWC title against Colombia in Santiago. Arturo Vidal’s headed goal was cancelled out by James Rodriguez’s second half strike, but neither side could find a winner. Chile’s 100-percent World Cup Qualifying record came to an end, but they remain unbeaten, and remain Unofficial Football World Champions.
Alexis Sanchez forced the first save of the match, with his dipping shot from the edge of the penalty area tipped over the bar by his Arsenal teammate David Ospina in the Colombian goal.
Chile had the majority of the possession, with Colombia playing a counter-attacking game – and carving out some good chances. Jackson Martinez and Daniel Torres both had shots blocked in the early exchanges, the latter via a spectacular save from Claudio Bravo.
Chile’s goal came just before half-time, after Torres conceded a free kick around 30 yards from the Colombian goal. Chile’s Matias Fernandez curled a perfect free kick into the edge of the six-yard box, where Vidal thumped a header into the back of the net.
The was created by the impressively pacey Luis Muriel who, on 68 minutes, raced into the box, saw his initial cross/shot blocked, then pulled the ball back to Rodriguez. The Real Madrid star coolly slotted his shot into the far corner to make the score 1-1.
Edwin Cardona almost scored an 87th minute winner for Colombia, but his shot was too easily saved by Bravo. The game ended as a draw, leaving Chile second in the WC qualifying table (behind 100-percenters Ecuador) and Colombia fifth out of ten. The top four CONMEBOL teams will qualify, with the fifth entering an inter-continental play-off.
The next UFWC match comes around quick and fast this Tuesday 17 November, when champions Chile travel to Uruguay for another combined UFWC title match / WC qualifier. The game kicks off at 21:00 local (23:00 UK) at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo.
Uruguay have won 20 previous UFWC title matches, and are ranked just outside the all-time top ten at 11th in the rankings. They last held the title last summer, losing it to Costa Rica at the World Cup Finals.
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