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Colombia’s first World Cup appearance has largely been forgotten but midfielder Coll wrote his name into history with a moment of improvisation that remains unique to this day

For a nation that has recorded just one knockout-stage victory in World Cup history, Colombia have left a particularly vivid imprint on the tournament. From René Higuita racing several miles from his goal at Italia 90 to James Rodríguez’s goal of the 2014 tournament, via the stomach-churning sight of Andrés Escobar stretching to intercept a cross in Pasadena, Colombia’s contribution to the global game is far greater in Technicolour than on paper.

Long before Faustino Asprilla, Carlos Valderrama and the legendary Birdman lit up our TV screens, Colombia made their debut in a very different era. Their first World Cup trip – and their only qualification until 1990 – was a short one, travelling to Chile in 1962. They were unfancied outsiders after sneaking through a thin South American qualification pool missing both the hosts and defending champions Brazil – but though they didn’t win a game, one player left his mark on World Cup history.

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