Uruguay a step behind in WC qualifiying

Uruguay still have an opportunity to secure their ticket to Brazil should they win in the playoffs.

Soccer ball in a net. Picture: sxc.hu.

REUTERS - Colombia qualified for the 2014 World Cup finals while Ecuador and Chile all but sealed tickets on Friday leaving Uruguay most likely to play a fourth successive inter-continental playoff to join them in Brazil next year.

Ecuador beat 1-0 Uruguay at home and climb to third in the South American group behind leaders Argentina.

Colombia fought back with striker Radamel Falcao converting two late penalties against a Chile side inspired by Alexis Sanchez's first-half brace for a 3-3 draw and the point that put them in their first finals since 1998 with a match to spare.

Venezuela's slim hopes of going to the finals for the first time ended in a 1-1 draw at home to Paraguay, while a rampant Argentina, without Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain, beat Peru 3-1 in Buenos Aires with Ezequiel Lavezzi scoring twice after Claudio Pizarro's opener for Peru.

Other World Cup qualifier results:

AFRICA:

Ivory Coast 3-1 Senegal

Tunisia 0-0 Cameroon

Ethiopia 1-2 Nigeria

Burkina Faso 3-2 Algeria

EUROPE:

Spain 2 - 1 Belarus

Wales 1 - 0 Macedonia

Germany 3 - 0 R. Of Ireland

Portugal 1-1 Israel

Netherlands 8 - 1 Hungary

Azerbaijan 2 - 0 Northern Ireland

England 4 - 1 Montenegro

Croatia 1 - 2 Belgium

Armenia 2 - 1 Bulgaria

Malta 1 - 4 Czech Rep.

Denmark 2 - 2 Italy

Faroe Islands 1 - 1 Kazakhstan

Sweden 2 - 1 Austria

Andorra 0 - 4 Romania

Estonia 0 - 2 Turkey

Iceland 2 - 0 Cyprus

Slovenia 3 - 0 Norway