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Colombia vs. Ecuador: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 29: Radamel Falcao Garcia #9 is congratulated by Aquivaldo Mosquera #22 and Luis Amaranto Perea #14 of Colombia after scoring a goal in the first half against Mexico on February 29, 2012 during an International friendly at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
Steven CookContributor IIISeptember 6, 2013

The qualifying stages for the 2014 World Cup are gearing up for an epic finale as they're down to the final few matches. Colombia will host Ecuador Friday in a match that will have huge implications for each national team.

Both squads are right on Argentina's heels for the top spot in the CONMEBOL region, as Colombia has a chance to tie the leaders with a win and Ecuador could overtake Colombia for second place if they come out victorious.

Ecuador may be feeling the pressure heading into this contest, as it could fork over its qualifying spot with a tough final slate of Uruguay and Chile to close out the qualifying stage.

Needless to say, a lot is on the line in Friday's match. Let's break down the matchup.

 

When: Friday, September 6 at 4:30 p.m. ET

Where: Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Melendez, Barranquilla, Colombia

Watch: beIN Sport, beIN Sport Play

 

CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying

Here's the latest table from South America's CONMEBOL region (via ESPN).

TeamPWDLGDPTS
Argentina137511626
Colombia127231423
Ecuador12633521
Chile13706021
Uruguay12444-316
Venezuela13445-416
Peru12426-514
Bolivia13247-910
Paraguay12228-148

Note: Top four teams qualify for the World Cup, while the fifth-place team goes to playoff against a nation from Asia

 

Top Storyline: How Is Radamel Falcao's Health?

It's unclear whether or not Colombia star striker Radamel Falcao will be a go for Friday's match, as FIFA reported he's with the team despite suffering an ankle injury last weekend.

However, Rex Gowar of Reuters (via The Daily Star) said that even though he made the trip with the team, his status is still in doubt for the home match against Ecuador.

If Falcao can't go, the most likely replacement for him would be FC Porto striker Jackson Martinez. The 26-year-old doesn't boast nearly as recognizable of a name as Falcao, but his 26 goals in 30 matches in league play last season prove he's a menace in the penalty area.

But despite Martinez's effectiveness, this just isn't the same team without Falcao up top. If he's going to miss an extended amount of time, or even the final World Cup qualifying matches, Colombia could be in trouble.

 

Prediction

Falcao or no Falcao, these two teams are simply headed in different directions and Friday's match will bring that to the surface.

Colombia has won four straight matches at home, with a lopsided score of 13-0 in those combined affairs. On top of that, it will be motivated by the fact that a win would tie it up with Argentina at the top of the CONMEBOL standings.

Ecuador, on the other hand, drew against Argentina and lost to Peru in its last two qualifying matches. It scored a combined one goal on those matches.

Colombia 2, Ecuador 1

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