Celebrating Colombian players die in car crash

Updated: September 20, 2009, 1:44 PM ET
Reuters

* Two Atletico Huila players killed in crash

* Woman also killed and third player badly hurt

* Teenage striker Cordoba was third leading scorer in the championship (Adds details)

BOGOTA, Sept 20 - Two players from Colombian first division side Atletico Huila and a woman travelling with them were killed in a car crash on Sunday, police said.

Teenage striker Herman Cordoba, midfielder Mario Beltran, 23, and the unnamed woman were killed when the car in which they had gone out to celebrate Saturday's 2-1 win over Pereira was involved in a collision with a bus and caught fire.

A third player, whom police identified as Juan Restrepo, was badly hurt in the crash on the highway between Rivera and Neiva, where Huila are based in southwestern Colombia.

Club sources said the players had gone out to celebrate Saturday's result, including a 79th-minute equaliser by Cordoba, which took the team back to the top of the first division Clausura championship.

Cordoba, 19, was the championship's third highest scorer with seven goals from 10 games.

Pereira took a shock lead after less than a minute with a header from defender Andres Ramirez. Right back Lewis Ochoa scored Huila's winner in the final minute.

Huila, who had not won in three matches and lost the lead to Independiente Medellin, have 20 points from 10 matches. Independiente Medellin can go top again if they win their home game against La Equidad later on Sunday.

(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta, editing by Brian Homewood; to query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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