FARYD MONDRAGON MADE his first appearance at the World Cup at USA ’94. Last night the veteran goalkeeper came off the bench in Colombia’s 4-1 win over Japan to become the tournament’s oldest ever player.
Mondragon, who turned 43 last Saturday, replaced first-choice goalkeeper David Ospina for the final eight minutes of a game Colombia had already sewn up.
If there were any doubts that his appearance was tokenism, Mondragon produced a smart save from Yoichiro Kakitani in injury time.
He surpassed the previous record of Cameroon’s Roger Milla, who played at 42 years and 39 days at USA ’94.
Over on RTÉ, following the game, pundits Kenny Cunningham and Didi Hamann criticised Colombia boss Jose Pekerman for putting Mondragon on for the closing stages, remarking that it showed a lack of respect for the Japanese. Fellow pundit Richie Sadlier argued that Colombia had every right to award the veteran his cameo outing. He later tweeted: