Colombia secured a 0-0 draw with Ecuador, earning one point in the fourth round of the South American Qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup. James Rodriguez started the match, and the Colombian team had two goals disallowed for offside, while Luis Díaz missed a penalty in the second half that could have tilted the game in their favor.
This marks the third consecutive draw for Colombia, following a 2-2 tie with Uruguay in the third round and a goalless draw with Chile in the second round. While it’s another bittersweet result for the Colombian team, they continue to accumulate points.
With this result, Colombia now has 6 points, remains unbeaten, and has collected 2 more points than in the same round of qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. It’s worth noting that the last time these two teams met in a World Cup qualifier in Quito in November 2020, Colombia suffered a painful 6-1 defeat.
The beginning of the match proved challenging for the Colombian team, which had difficulty finding their footing at the Rodrigo Paz Delgado stadium. Nevertheless, the team, under Nestor Lozano’s guidance, remained calm and improved their performance as the first half progressed.
Ecuador took the initiative in the early minutes, making it difficult for the Colombian players to maintain possession and create meaningful plays in the home team’s territory. The attacking line, consisting of James Rodríguez, Santos Borre on the right, and Luis Diaz, found themselves somewhat isolated from the midfield. Colombian midfielders struggled to pass the ball and connect with the forwards.
Yerson Mosquera was chosen by the coach to replace the injured Santiago Arias, playing out of position as a right-back. Mosquera, primarily a central defender, faced challenges in his unfamiliar role and received a yellow card. Ecuador exploited the right side, where Mosquera was positioned, to create scoring opportunities. Carlos Cuesta played a crucial role in supporting Mosquera in defensive duties.
In the last quarter of the first half, Colombia became more comfortable and began to control the game after an initial period of dominance by the Ecuadorian team. In the 37th minute, a well-executed play involving James Rodriguez and Luis Diaz resulted in a goal that was ultimately disallowed for offside. The first half ended in a draw.
Colombian Dominance in the Second Half
The second half saw Colombia taking a clearer lead in the game. After effectively dealing with a home team attempt that goalkeeper Montero saved, the ball control shifted to the visiting side. The Colombian defense held up well, and they found greater precision and success in their passes, which reached the Colombian forwards, all in red for this match, more effectively.
An inspired Luis Diaz played a crucial role in the play that led to a penalty kick awarded to Jhon Arias in the 57th minute. Perhaps aiming to break his scoring drought for the national team, Luis Diaz took the ball and attempted the penalty, although he is not a specialist in spot-kicks. However the local goalkeeper, Moises Ramirez, demonstrated excellent reflexes and blocked the shot low to the right. This was the closest the Colombian team came to securing a victory.
Just three minutes after the missed penalty, Colombia celebrated another disallowed goal. A corner kick was headed by Luis Diaz on the far post, and the ball ended up in a crowded area, with Carlos Cuesta pushing it into the net. Although the goal was initially allowed by the referee, VAR later disallowed it due to Santos Borre being in an offside position. This was the second goal disallowed for offside.
Following these incidents, the Colombian team seemed more focused on securing a point rather than pushing for a win. Coach Lozano made two more substitutions, adopting a more defensive approach in the final third of the match. James Rodriguez, who appeared tired, played the full 90 minutes, which is good news for both the player and the national team.
James had the last notable chance for Colombia, a shot saved by the goalkeeper three minutes into injury time. There was no time for further opportunities.
Upcoming Matches in November
With this draw, Colombia currently stands in fifth place on the table with 6 points. The team will now have a break until November 16, when they face Brazil at home in Barranquilla.
The match against Brazil promises to be a significant contest, as the Brazilians, who suffered a defeat against Uruguay in this round, have just one more point than Colombia. They currently occupy the third position in the standings, while Argentina is leading comfortably with 12 points.
The sixth round will see Colombia facing Paraguay on November 21 in Asunción. Currently, Paraguay is in seventh place with 4 points in four rounds of the qualifiers.