The Heat Will Definitely be on Today in Barranquilla
The heat will definitely be on today in Barranquilla, Colombia, where the latest round of World Cup Qualifying pits Colombia against Ecuador – both teams on the verge of earning the points needed to automatically qualify with only two more games remaining.
In hot and humid Estadio Metropolitano, Colombia can fire up the crowd with a victory that would leave it only one point short of the 27-point level that has usually guaranteed teams qualification from the South American Confederation (CONMEBOL).
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So far in the qualifying, Colombia has 23 points, Ecuador has 21 points, and a victory by either team would take some of the pressure off their remaining games in qualifying. Argentina leads the eight-team group with 26 points.
Chances are it’s not going to be easy for either team. Colombia’s star forward, Radamel Falcao, 27, is questionable because he sprained his right ankle Sunday in a game playing for AS Monaco against Marseille. Jackson Martinez will probably fill in if Falcao is unable to play. Ecuador’s top striker, 27-year-old Christian Benitez, passed away July 29 because of heart failure in Doha, Qatar. He was a member of El Jaish Sports Club of the Qatar Stars League.
This is the fifth meeting between Colombia and Ecuador in the first round of World Cup qualifying in the last 13 years. Ecuador won the last one, 1-0, in 2012 while Colombia won, 2-0, in 2009. The other two were 0-0 draws.