World Cup: Colombia beat Bolivia 5-0 and Argentina hammer Venezuela 3-0
Last Updated: March 23, 2013 10:20am
Radamel Falcao: Atletico Madrid striker on target for Colombia
Colombia enjoyed a convincing 5-0 rout of Bolivia to remain hot on Argentina's heels in the South American World Cup qualifying zone.
The win kept Jose Pekerman's second-placed side within four points of Argentina, who saw off Venezuela 3-0 and have played one game more than the Colombians.
The Cafeteros controlled the match from the first whistle but had to wait until the 20th minute to open the scoring, Macnelly Torres tapping home from Guillermo Cuadrado's cross.
The floodgates opened after the interval in Barranquilla.
Carlos Valdes took advantage of a kind rebound following a corner to double his team's lead four minutes into the second half, with Teifilo Gutierrez swiftly adding a third on the counter-attack.
The misery was not over for Xabier Azkagorta's side, though.
Four minutes from time, Radamel Falcao latched onto Pablo Armero's pass and notched a fourth goal and then, deep into stoppage time, substitute Armero made no mistake when one on one with goalkeeper Sergio Galarza.
Two goals from Gonzalo Higuain plus a Lionel Messi penalty handed Argentina a convincing 3-0 win over Venezuela in Buenos Aires.
Just before the half-hour mark, Argentina took the lead when Messi supplied the pass which put Higuain through one on one with Daniel Hernandez, and the Real Madrid striker made no mistake with a neat cross-shot.
The gulf in quality between the teams became even more evident thereafter and Argentina duly doubled their lead in the 44th minute, Messi converting the penalty after Venezuela defender Gabriel Cichero had handled the ball inside his area.
Messi was again the provider when Higuain made it 3-0 after 58 minutes, supplying the perfect pass for his colleague to slot home.
In Montevideo, fourth-placed Uruguay lost ground in the qualification race as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Paraguay.
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez looked to have won it for Uruguay when he broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute with a superb volley, but four minutes later Edgar Benitez capitalised on a Diego Lugano error to restore parity.
Finally, man of the match Jefferson Farfan grabbed the game's only goal three minutes from the end to earn Peru a 1-0 triumph over Chile in Lima.