Colombia qualifies for 2014 World Cup

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Remember when Colombia was everyone’s darling dark horse World Cup favorite … right before they more or less disappeared from the World Cup scene?

The South American side was among a favorite coming into USA 1994, but things went all kinds of wrong – some in a very dark and terrible way, as we know.

Colombia did get back into the 1998 World Cup, but men of Bogotá, Medellin, Cali and all points in between haven’t been back to a World Cup since then.

Until now, that is. And what a dramatic, storybook entrance Jose Pekerman’s team made, becoming the 14th team to officially qualify for Brazil 2014 and the fourth to do so on Friday. Colombia rallied from 3-0 down to earn a 3-3 draw with Chile, another team that was on the verge of booking its spot in Brazil.

Colombia is enjoying better times, currently ranked 5th in FIFA’s World Rankings, if you’re into those. And Pekerman’s team is the second out of South America to qualify through the long CONMEBOL gauntlet; Argentina has already staked its place. (Brazil, as host nation, is also among the 32-team field, of course.)