Peru strike late to beat Colombia in crunch qualifier

BARRANQUILLA ― Edison Flores scored a late goal for Peru to give the Andean side a 1-0 win away at Colombia today and boost their chances of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Halftime substitute Flores struck after 85 minutes to give Peru their third consecutive win and lift them on to 20 points and fourth place in the 10-team South America section, a point ahead of Uruguay.

The top four teams qualify automatically for Qatar and the fifth-place side go into a playoff with a team from the Asian confederation.

Brazil and Argentina have already guaranteed their spots and Ecuador in third place are almost certain to join them. Colombia are in sixth, with 17 points.

Colombia and Peru started the night tied on 17 points and though the home side made most of the running, they were hurt by their old failings in front of goal.

Today’s game was their sixth qualifier in a row without finding the back of the net.

Peru had only two shots at goal, compared to Colombia’s 20 and Peruvian goalkeeper Pedro Gallese also made some fine saves to keep his team in the game.

With three games remaining, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay all still have a chance of reaching the finals and only Venezuela, who play Bolivia later on Friday, are out of the running entirely.

Peru’s next game is at home to Ecuador on Tuesday, while Colombia are away to Argentina the same night. ― Reuters

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