Despite finding the target in Chile’s 3-3 away draw with Colombia, Arturo Vidal was ultimately was left to rue a missed opportunity after the hosts battled back from an early three-goal deficit to secure their place in this summer’s World Cup finals.
An entertaining affair in Barranquilla began brightly for the visitors when Vidal, joined in the starting line-up by Bianconeri team-mate Mauricio Isla, slotted home a penalty with 19 minutes played.
And things got even better soon afterwards as Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez struck a quickfire double to put the Chileans in full command with just half an hour played.
But the dismissal of Carlos Carmona in the 66th minute gave the hosts hope and Teofilo Gutierrez’s strike, coupled with two Falcao penalties, completed an unlikely comeback to guarantee Colombia’s first World Cup appearance since 1998.
Chile, who currently occupy the last automatic qualifying spot in South America, will aim to cross the line when they entertain Ecuador on Tuesday night in Santiago.
Elsewhere, Paul Pogba was named in Didier Deschamps starting XI as France warmed up for Tuesday’s final World Cup qualifier against Finland with a comfortable 6-0 win over Australia in Paris. The midfielder played 63 minutes before being replaced by Blaise Matuidi.