Colombia’s national soccer team pulled off an improbable comeback in World Cup qualifying, turning a 0-3 deficit against Chile into a 3-3 draw to book a spot in Brazil in 2014.
It marks the first time since the 1998 World Cup in France that Colombia will be a part of soccer’s biggest competition.
The visitors stunned Colombia in the first half of Friday afternoon’s game in Barranquilla, with Arturo Vidal converting a penalty in the 18th minute and Alexis Sanchez adding two more in the 21st and 29th minutes, respectively.
The score then remained 3-0 through the first 20 minutes of the second half, but Colombia clawed its way back after a red card to Chilean midfielder Carlos Carmona in the 66th minute put his side a man down.
Two minutes later, Colombia finally got on the board with a goal from Teofilo Gutierrez after a corner kick.
Colombia then smelled blood and heaped the pressure on the short-handed Chileans, who appeared fatigued from the effort they had exerted in the first half.
Midfielder James Rodríguez was subsequently brought down twice in the area in the 74th and 83rd minutes, the second time on a risky dive by Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, and super-striker Radamel Falcao converted both penalty kicks to give the Colombians the draw that secured them a World Cup berth.