Colombia count on Asprilla hat-trick

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The Newcastle striker Faustino Asprilla scored three goals as Colombia routed Chile 4-1 to lead the South American World Cup group. The win put Colombia on 10 points, one ahead of Ecuador, with a quarter of the qualifying fixtures complete.

Asprilla scored with headers in the third and 31st minutes, in Barranquilla, Colombia. Jorge Bermudez scored from another header in the 44th minute for Colombia. Asprilla completed his hat-trick in the 48th minute.

Ivan Zamorano scored a penalty in the 56th minute for Chile, after the Colombian defender Alexis Mendoza was sent off for a foul. Chile were also reduced to 10 men after Jose Luis Sierra was dismissed for fouling Maurico Serna in the 88th minute.

Paraguay's goalkeeper, Jose Luis Chilavert, scored from a free kick to earn his country a 1-1 draw with Argentina in Sunday's World Cup qualifier in Buenos Aires. Chilavert also made a crucial save to deny Gabriel Batistuta a late winner for Argentina.

He drove his free kick past the Argentinian wall and goalkeeper, German Burgos, in the 42nd minute to gain Paraguay a point. Sixteen minutes earlier, Chilavert was helpless as a perfect Batistuta free kick earned the Fiorentina player his 35th international goal.

The Internazionale striker Nwankwu Kanu, who helped Nigeria win the Olympic football tournament in Atlanta, has a heart problem that could end his career, a leading cardiologist said yesterday.

The Serie A club had said earlier that tests carried out by three heart specialists had shown the 20-year-old Nigerian, who played in the Ajax team that won the European Cup in 1995, had a cardiac anomaly.