The Colombian national football team defeated Paraguay (0-1) in the sixth round of the South American Qualifiers, maintaining an unbeaten record and a steady pace towards the 2026 World Cup. The victory came through a penalty goal converted by Santos Borré in the 11th minute. This win solidifies Colombia in third place with 12 points out of 18 possible. To secure their spot, they’ll need to achieve 28 points in the South American Qualifiers.
Colombia endured the constant attempts by the home team to equalize, especially on the left flank. They managed the midfield well, largely thanks to Kevin Castaño and Jefferson Lerma, while Paraguay lacked the clarity to beat goalkeeper Vargas.
Colombia started strongly positioned
The Colombian team started well at the Defensores del Chaco Stadium in Asunción, securing an advantage with a penalty scored by Rafael Santos Borré just minutes into the game. The action was initiated by midfielder Jefferson Lerma, who fell inside the Paraguayan box after contact with goalkeeper Carlos Coronel. Immediately, Colombia’s players appealed to referee Jesús Valenzuela, asking for a penalty, which was granted after a VAR review.
It was the 11th minute, and Santos Borré scored with a powerful strike with his right foot, rendering the local goalkeeper’s dive futile. It was the 0-1 goal that rewarded Colombia’s early aggressive play.
Until halftime, Colombia largely maintained dominance in the midfield, thwarting the locals’ attempts to approach Vargas’s goal with danger. The first half ended with Colombia’s slight advantage.
Paraguay’s futile domination in the second half
Paraguay’s coach, Daniel Garnero, made changes in the attack during the second half, introducing two substitutions that solidified their forward line. Colombia also had their opportunities, notably a clear chance for Luis Díaz. However, timely reactions from goalkeeper Carlos Coronel prevented a second goal.
Gradually, the home team grew on the field, pushing forward to create a couple of clear opportunities where Vargas and the Colombian defense reacted well to prevent an equalizer. Meanwhile, Colombia tried to exploit spaces for a securing goal, but it didn’t materialize. The score remained unchanged, confirming a hard-fought and significant victory for Néstor Lozano’s team, marking the last official match of the year.
After six matchdays, Colombia secures third place with 12 points, just 1 point behind second-placed Uruguay and 3 points behind the table leader, Argentina. The competition will pause for 10 months, resuming in September 2024 with a match against Peru in the seventh round of the South American Qualifiers.