Pekerman not panicking after narrow Colombia defeat

The nation's World Cup hopes took a slight blow with the reverse in Quito, but their trainer believes they are still well placed to make the finals in Brazil
Colombia coach Jose Pekerman has insisted that he is not too downhearted following the first defeat of his tenure at the South American nation, after the Cafeteros' hopes of making the 2014 World Cup suffered a setback at the hands of rivals Ecuador.

A solitary goal from America's Christian Benitez was enough to seal a narrow 1-0 victory for the Tricolor, who move up to fourth in the Conmebol standings after round six. Colombia, meanwhile, drop to sixth place after defeat in Quito and are currently out of the qualification places.

Speaking to reporters after the match, however, Pekerman asserted that the reverse would have little effect on the squad's chances of making the tournament in Brazil two years from now.

"Ecuador did not pose much danger, they played with four forwards. The goal came from a set-piece with a little bit of luck," the Argentine trainer explained.

"We should not make too much drama out of one result, we have to be sympathetic to a group that worked so hard."

The former Albiceleste coach highlighted an injury to Atletico Madrid defender Luis Perea as a turning point in proceedings.

"The players did well. We regretted Perea's injury so early in the game, there were unforeseen circumstances and situations that force changes," he stated, before stating his optimism at his team's chances.

"Colombia still have the opportunity intact [to make the World Cup]. They can fight for qualification, the table is tight but the qualifiers are like that."

Pekerman had begun his time with the Cafeteros in perfect fashion, following up a friendly victory over Mexico with a hard-fought three points in Lima against Peru thanks to James Rodriguez's strike.