Football / World Cup USA '94: Colombia go out

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Switzerland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Colombia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

IT WAS too little, too late for Colombia, who finally opened their World Cup account with a win over a disinterested Swiss side in Palo Alto last night. However, Romania's victory in Pasadena means that the South Americans finish bottom of Group A. Pele's tip for the title are going home.

Colombia dominated the opening exchanges. Adolfo Valencia sent a volley just over, Fredy Rincon forced a brilliant save from Marco Pascolo with a powerful left-foot shot, and Pascolo made another stop from the resulting corner, tipping Luis Herrera's effort over the crossbar.

The Swiss were suffering in the heat and gave the Colombians a chance to produce free-flowing attacks. Pascolo had to made further good stops from Rincon and Carlos Valderrama.

In a rare Swiss thrust, Adrian Knup was booked for attempting to punch a cross into the net. Colombia finally took the lead in the 45th minute when Herrera floated over a free-kick from the right and Gaviria scored with a header.

The negative Swiss declined to opt for attack in the second half and much of the play was concentrated in midfield. Valderrama, the victim of much jeering from Swiss fans, was booked when he vented his frustration with a needless foul on Ciriaco Sforza. Harold Lozano, a substitute, doubled Colombia's lead with an angled shot in the last minute.

SWITZERLAND: Pascolo (Servette); Hottiger, Quentin, Herr, Geiger (all Sion), Bregy (Young Boys Berne), Sutter (Nuremberg), Ohrel (Servette), Sforza (Kaiserslautern), Knup (VfB Stuttgart), Chapuisat (Borussia Dortmund). Substitutes: Grassi (Servette) for Sutter, 81; Subiat (Lugano) for Knup, 81.

COLOMBIA: Cordoba (America Cali); Escobar, Herrera (both Nacional Medellin), Mendoza (Junior Barranquilla), Perez (America Cali), Gaviria (Nacional Medellin), Valderrama (Junior Barranquilla), Alvarez (America Cali), Rincon (Palmeiras), Valencia (Bayern Munich), Asprilla (Parma). Substitutes: Lozano (America Cali) for Gaviria, 77; De Avila (America Cali) for Valencia, 62.

Referee: P Mikkelsen (Denmark).