Carlos Bacca was the man of the match in Colombia's 3-1 victory over Ecuador in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying. Manager Jose Pekerman elected to go again with one striker choosing Carlos Bacca as the man to start up top. There was little change in Pekerman's lineup as there were only three changes to the team that started in Bolivia. Gustavo Quinteros's side included Juan Carlos Paredes in the starting 11 as he recovered in time from his head injury. Ecuador's first defeat of the campaign comes in their sixth fixture of the qualifiers.
Pekerman's side showed in the early stages of the game that they were going to attack an Ecuador team that sat back. Things started off well for Colombia as Carlos Bacca showed signs of early pressure from Colombia by testing Alexander Dominguez early. Ecuador did show one sign of attack before Bacca's chance, when Antonio Valencia ran past Farid Diaz and crossed to Enner Valencia, whose shot was stopped by David Ospina.
Colombia broke the scoreless draw in the 15th minute when Bacca made a 360 degree turn against Frickson Erazo and easily finished past Dominguez. Colombia's play flowed through James Rodriguez and Edwin Cardona, who constructed Colombia's dangerous counter attacks.
Pachuca man Oscar Murillo was once again confident in Colombia's back line, and showed strength against the leaders. Sebastian Perez, another one of the new faces of the national team, showed a calm composure in Colombia's midfield and linked well with Independiente Medellin's Daniel Torres. Colombia finished the first half in the ascendency as Dominguez helped keep Ecuador in the game and down just 1-0.
Cafeteros Rampant In Second Period
Colombia's second goal came in the first moments of the second half when Sebastian Perez scored his first goal for the national team in just his second appearance with an overhead kick off a cross from Edwin Cardona. Los Cafeteros produced a lovely passing sequence between James, Juan Guillermo Cuadrado and Bacca which led to Milan man getting his second of the game.
Ecuador seemed fatigued throughout the game in the heat of Barranquilla. However, Michael Arroyo came on as a sub and netted in Ecuador's lone goal of the game off a nice free kick late on to give them some consolation. The absense of Felipe Caicedo was greatly felt throughout the game as Enner Valencia had very little help up top. Angel Mena, the hero of Ecuador's recent game against Paraguay, wasn't much involved throughout.
What Does The Result Mean?
Ecuador now, they drop down to second place as Uruguay now leads the South American Qualifying table after recording a win against Peru. Colombia is left with 10 points, now just three points away from leaders Uruguay.