Colombia and Chile draw 1-1

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Colombia and Chile remain unsure which of them might claim fifth place in the South American World Cup qualifying group after drawing 1-1 in Barranquilla.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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Colombia and Chile met in Barranquilla on Saturday as the pair battled it out to see which of them was still in with a chance of qualifying for next year's World Cup finals in Germany. The result of the match which, combined with the outcome of the Ecuador against Uruguay game, would go a long way to decide who takes the fifth place play-off spot. Colombia coach Reinaldo Rueda, who has rebuilt the team with the help of a brave youth policy, saw his charges dominate the early stages of the game and Victor Pacheco had the first opportunity, but Chile defender Pablo Contreras got in an important block. Colombia, who were missing midfield playmaker Tressor Moreno and defender Luis Amaranta Perea through injury, broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when Gerado Bedoya swung in a telling left wing cross and striker Luis Rey dived in front of his marker to head home. Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was off his line and the looping header went over him and in off the crossbar. Chile, who suffered a demoralising 5-0 defeat in Brazil on their last outing, offered little in the first half and their best chance came just before the break when David Pizarro shot from 22 metres and the ball flew across the face of the goal. The second half took a while to ignite and the first chance came in the 56th minute when a teasing cross from Juan Pablo Angel saw Rey lunge at the far post, but he was unable to make any contact. The Metropolitano Stadium fell silent, except for a small pocked of Chile fans, when the visitors equalised in the 63rd minute. Ricardo Rojas rose unmarked above the Colombia defence to glance in a header following a free kick by Pizarro. Colombia went looking for the winner and came close to it in the 77th minute. Along kick up field by goalkeeper Miguel Calero was collected by substitute Martin Arzuaga. He fed David Ferreira and followed through, but his volley was well saved by Bravo. The 1-1 draw left the two nations still unsure as to which of them might finish in fifth place. Argentina lead the 10-nation South American qualifying table with 31 points from 16 games, followed by Brazil on 30. Paraguay, who won 1-0 in Venezuela to qualify, moved into third place with 28 points, while Ecuador, who qualified by drawing 0-0 with Uruguay, have 27. Locked in the battle for fifth spot are Uruguay with 22, while Colombia and Chile have 21 points each. Colombia are away to Paraguay in their last game on Wednesday, while Chile play hosts to Ecuador. (AP)

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