Barranquilla (Colombia), March 24 (IANS) A late strike from James Rodriguez handed Colombia a barely deserved 1-0 victory over Bolivia in their 2018 football World Cup South American zone qualifier here.
The hosts dominated possession in the stifling heat at the Metropolitano stadium but were mostly unable to create danger on Thursday, reports Xinhua news agency.
Jose Pekerman's team were finally presented with a clear chance when Cristian Coimbra brought down Juan Cuadrado in the penalty box with nine minutes remaining.
Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Lampe then blocked Rodriguez's spot-kick before the Real Madrid midfielder bundled in the rebound.
The result left Colombia with 21 points from 13 matches while Bolivia remained stuck on seven points with just two wins in the 10-team CONMEBOL group.
The top four sides at the end of the qualifying campaign will earn a direct berth at next year's World Cup in Russia while the fifth-ranked team will book a playoff spot.