Chile, Ecuador clinch World Cup berths on final day
Santiago, Chile (SportsNetwork.com) - Chile secured a berth at the 2014 World Cup on Tuesday with a 2-1 home win over Ecuador, which also qualified by a narrow margin despite the setback.
First-half goals from Alexis Sanchez and Gary Medel helped Chile take a two- goal halftime lead before Felipe Caicedo pulled one back for Ecuador in the 66th minute.
Chile finishes qualifying in third place with the win, while Ecuador and Uruguay both end up with 25 points, but Ecuador claims the last automatic spot based on superior goal difference.
Uruguay will face Jordan in a two-legged playoff next month to determine which side also reaches Brazil.
Sanchez opened the scoring in the 35th minute when he headed home Eugenio Mena's cross, while he set up Medel's goal a few minutes later with a flicked header that Medel finished off at close range.
Arturo Vidal's header from a corner kick smashed off the post early in the second half as Chile threatened to widen the margin, but Caicedo's goal on the break eased some nerves as Ecuador's advantage in goal difference wasn't seriously threatened.
Argentina had already locked up the top spot in qualifying and was out to spoil Uruguay's chances on Tuesday with a pair of goals from Maxi Rodriguez.
But Edinson Cavani struck the decisive blow early in the second half for Uruguay to separate the sides.
Colombia had already earned second place in the group and was safely through to the World Cup, but the team notched a 2-1 win at Paraguay with Mario Yepes netting both goals after teammate Fredy Guarin was sent off in the 32nd minute.
The other match in South American qualifying on Tuesday saw Peru and Bolivia trade first-half goals in a 1-1 draw with both teams having already been eliminated.
10/16 00:04:12 ET