Jan 16 (Reuters) – The Colombian soccer team defeated Honduras 2-1 on Sunday in a friendly match to prepare for the South American qualifying tie for the World Cup in Qatar and ended five games without scoring and without knowing a victory.
The match was played at the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale in Florida, United States, before some 10,000 spectators.
Colombia opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a goal from midfielder Juan Fernando Quintero after a center by Harold Preciado that left the ball inside the area so that he could push it with his left leg and beat goalkeeper Luis López.
As the minutes passed, the Honduran team led by the Colombian Hernán Darío “El Bolillo” Gómez reacted, advanced the lines and prevented the collective game and the arrivals of the coffee team.
Colombia, led by coach Reinado Rueda, closed the spaces in a defensive strategy to prevent the arrival of Honduras.
Quintero, who will join River Plate in Argentina, left before the end of the first half after a spectacular fall and was replaced by Yaser Asprilla.
Honduras equalized in the 52nd minute through a penalty that Kervin Arriaga took and converted after Colombian Yerson Candelo brought down Diego Rodríguez inside the box.
Colombia reacted, had more depth and possession of the ball, against a Honduras that scored without leaving spaces, which made it difficult for the coffee team to play collectively.
The South American team launched a collective attack and a precise pass from Yimmy Chará enabled Andrés Colorado to score Colombia’s second goal in the 67th minute.
Colorado came from behind and pushed the ball into the net of the rival goal to decree the winning goal.
Honduras, which occupies the eighth position in the Concacaf qualifying round with three points, will face Canada, El Salvador, the United States, Panama, Mexico and Jamaica in the next matches.
Colombia occupies fourth place in the South American qualifier with 17 points and needs to win after five games without winning in the competition to add the necessary points and qualify for the World Cup.
The Colombian team will host Peru in Barranquilla on January 28 and will visit Argentina on February 1, to then close against Bolivia as a local and as a visitor against Venezuela.
(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta)