World Cup Soccer
 
              === Colombia joins Argentina on top of CONMEBOL ===
 
 Barranquilla,  Colombia  (Sports Network) -  Colombia moved to within touching
 distance of its first World Cup appearance since 1998 after a 1-0 home victory
 against Ecuador on Friday in World Cup qualifying.
 
 A  first-half goal from James Rodriguez was enough for Colombia, while Ecuador
 was  reduced to 10 men just three minutes before the goal and missed a second-
 half penalty kick that would have leveled the contest.
 
 The  result moves  Colombia into a tie  with Argentina for the top spot in the
 group, while the team is at least assured of a top-five place.
 
 Heavy  rain forced the  match to be delayed for 90 minutes, and Ecuador played
 with  11  men for  just 28  minutes before  Gabriel Achilier  was sent off for
 bringing down Colombia's Teofilo Gutierrez as he charged clear on goal.
 
 The  home side  tallied the  lone goal  just a  few minutes  later as  Radamel
 Falcao's  long-range  shot could only  be parried by Ecuador goalkeeper Maximo
 Banguera, allowing Rodriguez to score from a tight angle on the rebound.
 
 Ecuador had a chance to steal a point in the second half when Antonio Valencia
 was brought down by Colombia's Carlos Sanchez inside the penalty area.
 
 However,  Walter Ayovi stepped forward and fired wide of the left post from 12
 yards, leaving his team in fourth place.
 
 Chile  climbed  into third  after a 3-0  home win over  Venezuela that saw the
 hosts score twice in the first half hour.
 
 Eduardo  Vargas notched  the opener in the 11th minute and Marcos Gonzalez was
 on target in the 30th before Arturo Vidal capped the scoring five minutes from
 time.
 
 Paraguay  hammered  Bolivia, 4-0, in  a battle of  the bottom two sides, while
 Uruguay got a goal in each half from Luis Suarez to top Peru, 2-1.
 
 09/07 00:31:04 ET

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