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Soccer-Colombia pegged back by Senegal as Falcao watches

Reuters

BUENOS AIRES, May 31 (Reuters) - Colombia squandered a two-goal halftime lead and were held to a 2-2 draw by Senegal in the first of two World Cup warm-ups in the Argentine capital on Saturday.

With key forward Radamel Falcao watching on as he recovers from a knee ligament injury, his usual strike partner Teofilo Gutierrez put Colombia ahead in the 11th minute at San Lorenzo's Nuevo Gasometro.

Fellow striker Carlos Bacca headed down a corner into the six-yard box where the lurking Gutierrez stabbed the ball home with his left foot.

Bacca increased Colombia's lead on the stroke of halftime when he rifled in Victor Ibarbo's low right cross with the South Americans dominant in the first half.

Senegal pulled one back less than two minutes after the restart through Moussa Konate, who shot from the left across veteran keeper Faryd Mondragon's goal and in at the far post.

Midfielder Cheikh Ndoye equalised five minutes later with a shot from outside the box that surprised the 42-year-old Mondragon, set to go to his third finals in a 20-year span as his country's second choice keeper.

Senegal had midfielder Ibrahima Seck sent off in the 66th minute for a bad lunge on substitute Alexander Mejia, who also came off hurt, leaving both sides with 10 men as Colombia had already made all their changes.

"We knew it would be tough, that's how African teams play, they run to the last minute," Colombia right back Camilo Zuniga told reporters.

"This match was very useful for us and the professor (coach Jose Pekerman) will get a lot from it."

Falcao, who had knee surgery in January, is hoping to make the cut for Pekerman's 23-man squad for the Brazil finals when he names it by Monday's deadline.

Colombia play Jordan in their last warm-up on Friday in Argentine Pekerman's home city, where they have made their pre-tournament camp.

They face Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan in Group C at the World Cup. (Reporting by Luis Ampuero; Writing by Rex Gowar; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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