Martinez hands Ecuador 2-1 win over Uruguay

Quito, Nov 13 (IANS) Felipe Caicedo and Fidel Martinez scored on either side of halftime as Ecuador secured a 2-1 home victory over Uruguay in their FIFA World Cup qualifier here.

Espanyol striker Caicedo opened the scoring in the 23rd minute at Estadio Olimpico on Thursday by turning in a Juan Paredes cross from the right with a deft first-time finish, reports Xinhua.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani equalised just after halftime, heading in a perfectly weighted Nicolas Lodeiro free-kick.

Spurred on by their home fans, Ecuador were irrepressible and they regained the lead just before the hour after some fine play from Jefferson Montero.

The Swansea City winger went on a mazy run before unleashing a powerful shot that forced Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera into a diving save. The rebound fell to Martinez who fired the ball into an unguarded net.

Meanwhile, Bolivia earned their first points of the qualifying campaign by defeating Venezuela 4-2 in La Paz. Rodrigo Ramallo scored twice for the hosts while Juan Arce and Rudy Cardozo also found the target. Mario Rondon and Richard Blanco netted for Venezuela.

In Santiago, Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez struck a second-half equaliser to earn Colombia a 1-1 draw against Chile. Bayern Munich’s Arturo Vidal had given the hosts the lead at Estadio Nacional with a header on the stroke of halftime.

The third round of South American zone qualifiers were due to be completed on Friday with Peru hosting Paraguay and Argentina at home to Brazil in a match that was rescheduled due to a waterlogged pitch.

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