Despite a difficult start, Colombia keeps Uruguay on 0-0 and stays in full strength for World Cup qualification for Qatar 2022.
Colombia hasn’t taken a result home from Montevideo in the World Cup qualifiers since 2001, so the expectation for the national team weren’t that high. But manager Reinaldo Rueda – in his second stint at the Colombian national team – hasn’t lost a single one of his first five World Cup qualifiers. He extended that run with the 0-0 in Montevideo.
Rueda chose a defence with Carlos Cuesta and Yerry Mina. That left Spurs defender Davinson Sánchez on the bench. Sánchez has been a regular in the national team, but his previous performances had been very shaky. Radamel Falcao also started, in favour of Duván Zapata.
Falcao was nowhere to be seen. In the first half Uruguay put Colombia on the back foot from the get go and gave the cafeteros little time to breath. After 12 minutes, Luis Suárez squandered a big chance when a cross from the right went past the entire Colombia defence. But the Atlético Madrid striker put it wide from a good position. Halfway through the first half Suárez did find the goal, but the linesman saw offside and, despite Suárez heavily protesting the decision, the VAR confirmed it.
When the Uruguayan storm petered out after 25 minutes, Colombia got a bit more control over the game. But the visitors failed to produce a goal attempt in the rest of the first half.
Colombia looked a lot better in the second half. It didn’t have serious problems containing Darwin Nuñez or Edinson Cavani, who had come on at half time to replace the injured Suárez and Brian Rodríguez. The intensity of the match lowered a bit and Colombia got its biggest chance after 70 minutes when a quick counter-attack over the left wing landed in Zapata’s feet on the edge of the six-yard box. But the Atalanta Bergamo striker produced a weak attempt – Uruguay goalie Fernando Muslera had no problems with a ball that came straight at him.
The draw gives Colombia one point, meaning it stays in fifth place. Both Uruguay and Ecuador are in striking distance for direct qualification for the World Cup in Qatar. Colombia will next play Brazil in Barranquilla on Sunday, October 10 at 4pm. But the team will have to do without Juan Guillermo Cuadrado who picked up a yellow card and is suspended for the next game.