There was plenty of intrigue in what actually happened during the final seconds of Colombia’s World Cup qualifier against Peru on Tuesday night.
With the score at 1-1 and full-time approaching, Radamel Falcao appeared to tell Peru’s players not to push for a winning goal because the scoreline would benefit both nations in their bid to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
The match ended in a draw, so Colombia qualified automatically for the tournament in Russia and Peru booked a meeting with New Zealand in a play-off.
Colombia and Peru’s alleged pact must have infuriated Chile, who were heading for Russia until Peru’s 76th minute equaliser.
Chile went down 3-0 against Brazil and ended up finishing below Peru on goal difference.
Falcao has been criticised on social media for his actions, with some even accusing him of match fixing.
Check out what happened:
The Monaco striker admitted after the game that he was trying to inform Peru’s players of the scores of the other qualifying matches.
“We knew what was happening in the other matches, we were playing with (the knowledge of) the other results and in that moment (I tried) to transmit that (to Peru),” Falcao said, per the Telegraph.
What Falcao said to Renato Tapia
Peru’s Renato Tapia has revealed that Falcao informed him that both Colombia and Peru would qualify if the scoreline didn’t change, although he denied that a deal had been agreed not to go for a winner.
"In the last five minutes, the Colombians approached us. They knew what the situation was in the other games," Tapia told Panamericana TV.
"So we managed the game as we needed to... I spoke with Radamel, who told me we were both qualified (as things stood), but it's football and we play to win."
Solano: 'What pact? That's speculation'
Former Newcastle midfielder Nolberto Solano, who is on Peru’s coaching staff, supported Tapia’s comment about the alleged pact.
“We needed to win, them too. What pact? That's speculation," Solano added.
"Obviously, at the end, we knew what the other results were and you tell yourself: 'calm it down a bit, we mustn't take any risks'."
It's unlikely that FIFA will look into the matter. At the end of a thrilling, unpredictable South American qualifying campaign, Colombia are in the World Cup and Peru are two games away from joining them.