SAO PAULO: Ecuador, the surprise of the South American World Cup qualifying campaign, routed Colombia 6-1.
The Ecuadorians have nine points after four matches and awaited the outcome of Brazil vs.
Uruguay and Argentina vs Peru later Tuesday.
Brazil had nine points from three games, and Argentina had seven from three matches.
The top four teams will automatically qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The fifth-place team will go into an inter-continental playoff.
Ecuador opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Robert Arboleda shot from close range.
Two minutes later, they doubled their lead when Colombia's high defensive line was caught off guard and let Ángel Mena calmly finish in front of goalkeeper Camilo Vargas.
As Colombia tried to recover, Ecuador added a third when Michael Estrada just pushed the ball to the back of the net after a low cross from the left-wing in the 32nd minute.
Xavier Arreaga made it 4-0 in the 39th minute also from close range.
Colombia managed to score from the spot with James Rodríguez at the end of the first half, giving some hope to the visitors.
But the second half was also friendly to Ecuador, which missed several opportunities and had a goal disallowed by video review before it scored the fifth: Gonzalo Plata in the 79th minute.
Seconds later, he was sent off after getting a second yellow.
Despite being one man down, Ecuador scored once more in added time, on a free kick taken by Pervis Estupiñan.
Also on Tuesday, Venezuela beat Chile 2-1 to get its first points in four matches.
Luis Mago opened the scoring for the hosts in the ninth minute.
Arturo Vidal equalized six minutes later.
Salomon Rondón netted the winner for the Venezuelans in the 81st minute.