South American qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ continued with two intriguing fixtures on Friday evening. Colombia, who reached the knockout stage at Russia 2018, beat Venezuela, a team that has integrated some of the players that finished runners-up at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017. In the later game, record champions Brazil got their Qatar 2022 qualifying journey off to a scintillating start against Bolivia.
There will be celebrations across Colombia but perhaps also over 9,000 kilometres away in Bergamo as two Atalanta players scored all of the goals for Los Cafeteros in Barranquilla. Duvan Zapata opened the scoring in the 16th minute, finishing off a well-worked team goal as James Rodriguez sent in a through pass to Juan Cuadrado on the right wing and the Juventus star found Zapata with a low and driven teasing cross.
Zapata’s Atalanta team-mate Luis Muriel doubled their lead just over ten minutes later when Johan Mojica, himself an Atalanta player on loan from Girona, found him with a low cross. Muriel added a second on the night right before the break finishing after an impressive run. It was the first time that Zapata and Muriel had scored in the same match for Colombia, capping off a nearly-perfect night had it not been for Santiago Arias suffering what appeared to be a serious ankle injury early in the match.