Colombia could book their place at next year’s FIFA World Cup if they avoid defeat to Uruguay at the Estadio Centenario on Tuesday.
A 1-0 win over 10-man Ecuador on Friday guaranteed Jose Pekerman’s side a place in the AFC-CONMEBOL play-offs at the very worst.
Despite having a one-man advantage for a majority of the game, Colombia were made to work hard for their seventh consecutive home win and had James Rodriguez to thank for what proved to be a decisive first-half strike.
The result leaves Colombia on the verge of qualifying for their first World Cup since 1998.
Speaking after the game, Peckerman said: “I feel that Colombia won fairly, did important things, took on the role, overcame the difficulties and won well against a very good team.
“Colombia needs to go to the World Cup, we are not there yet, but we’ve taken a giant step.”
Many onlookers will undoubtedly be looking forward to watching two of the biggest names in world football going head-to-head, as Radamel Falcao and Luis Suarez both take to the field.
Despite a ban ruling him out of the start of the new Premier League season, Suarez put in a talismanic performance for Uruguay as they picked up a vital 2-1 win over Peru in Lima on Friday.
The Liverpool striker scored twice, including one form from the penalty spot, to secure a win that leaves Oscar Tabarez’s side with a tightened grip on fifth place, with only two points separating them from Ecuador in fourth – the final automatic qualifying spot.
Despite suffering a 4-0 defeat in the reverse fixture, history appears to favour Uruguay, who have not lost a competitive home match to Tuesday’s opponents since 1973.
Colombia will also be aware that no team has managed to come away from Uruguay with three points since October 2009.
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