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Colombia sink Bolivia with injury time strike

Los Cafeteros avoided further blushes in a so far disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign by snatching a late winner in the high altitude of La Paz.

Juan Arce battles it out with James Rodriguez.

An injury-time goal from Edwin Cardona saw Colombia snatch a dramatic 3-2 win over Bolivia on Thursday to breathe life into their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Star-studded Colombia looked to have squandered a straightforward victory after Bolivia fought back from 2-0 down to level at 2-2 heading into stoppage time at the Estadio Hernando Siles.
But just when the Bolivians were preparing to celebrate a well-earned point, Colombia swept forward.

Teenage winger Marlos Moreno broke down the left flank and picked out Mexico-based midfielder Cardona, who rifled a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner.

Carlos Bacca celebrates after scoring
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Carlos Bacca celebrates after scoring JORGE BERNALAFP

The victory was only Colombia's second in five matches so far in South America's marathon qualifying competition for places at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

The Colombians are now on seven points alongside Chile, Paraguay and Brazil, who all have matches on Thursday and Friday.

Colombia made a dream start after goals from Real Madrid star James Rodriguez and AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca gave them a 2-0 lead after 41 minutes.

Alejandro Chumacero celebrates with Danny Bejarano
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Alejandro Chumacero celebrates with Danny BejaranoAIZAR RALDESAFP

However Bolivia were thrown a lifeline when Brazilian referee Wilton Pereira Sampaio harshly adjudged that Jeison Murillo had handballed inside the area early in the second half.

Juan Carlos Arce duly stepped up to blast the penalty into the top corner and Bolivia were back in the game.

It got better in the 62nd minute when Alejandro Chumacero lashed in the equaliser for 2-2.
Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina kept Colombia in the game with a string of saves as Bolivia pressed for a winner.

James Rodríguez giving himself a wedgy
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James Rodríguez giving himself a wedgyMARTIN ALIPAZEFE

But with time running down, Colombia counter-attacked and Cardona provided the final twist.


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