The result of the night undoubtably came in Quito, where Ulises de la Cruz’s Ecuador nullified the threat of Deco and Ronaldo before Edison Méndez’s 77th-minute strike stole a late win against the World Champions. The result takes the side to third and an automatic qualifying spot. Colombia and Peru are still outside the top four, but both moved up the table last night after narrow one-goal home wins.
Juan Pablo Angel’s Colombia are sixth after Paris Saint-Germain defender Mario Yepes headed the only goal of the game on 18 minutes. Peru are level on 13 points after a 2-1 win against Chile in Lima. Nolberto Solano’s side kept their hopes alive with goals from two other Europe-based players, Jefferson Farfán and Paolo Guerrero before Sebastián González’s late consolation.
Olof Mellberg should have given Sweden the lead with an early header against Scotland in Edinburgh, but it proved academic as the side went on to an easy 4-1 friendly victory. Germany also won by a three-goal margin as Jürgen Klinsmann kept up his unbeaten start as coach with a 3-0 win against Cameroon in Liepzig. Thomas Hitzlsperger came on for the last half-hour when all Germany’s goals were scored and set up the last for Miroslav Klose.
The only grey spot on an otherwise bright night for Villa’s players, was Denmark’s 2-2 draw at Georgia. That leaves Thomas Sørenson’s side five points adrift of Group 2 leaders Ukraine, though the Villa custodian performed well as AC Milan striker Jon Dahl Tomasson’s goals were twice cancelled out by the home team. The sextet now have four days to recover before the game against Spurs next Monday.