Down 3-0 in the first half, the “cafetelero” scored three times in just over 20 minutes to earn a point and clinch their place in Brazil.
Teofilo Gutierrez missed an absolute sitter for Colombia in the 5th minute, and they were made to pay for squandering that chance quickly. Chile won a penalty in the 18th minute when David Ospina clipped Eduardo Vargas as he was running towards the byline, around the keeper. Arturo Vidal took the penalty and scored to put Chile ahead.
Chile would score twice more in the first half to take a huge lead heading into the locker room, with Barcelona man Alexis Sanchez scoring on both occasions. He made the most of a knockdown in the box by Jorge Valvida in the 22nd minute, finishing from close range, then scored again on a corner in the 30th minute.
The visitors were in control until the 66th minute, when Carlos Carmona picked up a second yellow card and was sent off. On the ensuing free kick. Teo made up for his earlier mistake, scoring to give Colombia a way back into the match. Up a man and with a goal on the board, Colombia started to mount a massive comeback.
The hosts’ next two goals both came on penalties, with James Rodriguez drawing both of them. Francisco Silva tripped him in the 74th minute and Claudio Bravo took him down again nine minutes later in similar fashion. On both occasions, Colombia’s biggest star, Radamel Falcao, stepped up to the spot and finished off the penalties, completing his team’s comeback.
Colombia needed a point or any result other than a draw in Ecuador-Uruguay to qualify for the World Cup finals.
While Ecuador defeated Uruguay, Colombia didn’t know that result when Falcao scored the winner or when the final whistle blew, as Los Cafeteros celebrated earning their ticket to Brazil. Chile are still in an excellent position to qualify, but could potentially slip down to a playoff spot.