Colombia held host Ecuador to a scoreless draw in the rain at Atahualpa Stadium on Wednesday to remain the only unbeaten team in South America’s 10-team World Cup qualifying race.
Colombia employed a defense-oriented strategy, waiting in its half of the field to receive the Ecuador attack through most of the first half.
The pace of the game picked up in the second half, as both teams tried to break through for a decisive goal.
Colombia’s Juan Carlos Escobar came the closest for either team in the 48th minute, but he was unable to get a shot off right in front of Ecuador goalie Francisco Cevallos.
The draw kept Colombia in third place behind Paraguay and Argentina, which drew Brazil 0-0 on Wednesday.
With 5 points, Ecuador was in eighth place with its chances of qualifying for its third successive World Cup finals diminishing.
The seventh round of South American World Cup qualifying matches will be held in September. Ecuador will host ninth-place Bolivia in Quito while Colombia will host fourth-place Uruguay.
Ecuador: Jose Francisco Cevallos, Omar De Jesus, Ivan Hurtado, Geovanny Espinoza, Paul Ambrossi, Patricio Urrutia (Joffre Guerron, 45), Segundo Castillo, Antonio Valencia, Walter Ayovi (Luis Bolanos, 70), Cristian Benitez, Carlos Tenorio (Felipe Caicedo, 80).
Colombia: Agustin Julio, Camilo Zuniga, Aquivaldo Mosquera, Walter Moreno, Elvis Gonzalez, Juan Carlos Escobar (Dairo Moreno, 53), Freddy Guarin, Jose Amaya, Elkin Soto (Carlos Sanchez, 80), Macnelly Torres (Giovanny Hernandez, 62), Hugo Rodallega.