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Brazil remain perfect, Argentina drop points in World Cup qualifiers

AFP/Montevideo
Filed on June 9, 2021
Paraguay's Alberto Espinola and Brazil's Neymar (right) vie for the ball. (AFP)

Brazil opened up a six point lead at the top of South American qualifying round after a sixth win out of six


Neymar scored one goal and created the other as Brazil maintained their perfect start to World Cup qualifying with a 2-0 win over Paraguay on Tuesday.

Substitute Lucas Paqueta sealed the win deep into injury time in Asuncion as Brazil opened up a six point lead at the top of South America’s single qualifying group after a sixth win out of six.

Paraguay’s first defeat saw them drop out of the automatic qualification places.

Brazil got off to a quick start with less than four minutes on the clock.

Gabriel Jesus, recalled to the starting line-up, crossed from the right and although Richarlison missed his attempted volley, Neymar was unmarked at the back post to bobble the ball past goalkeeper Antony Silva.

Paraguay had a strong start to the second half as Ederson saved a Gustavo Gomez header but Marquinhos should have doubled the visitors’ advantage when he somehow headed Neymar’s cross wide from four yards out.

But in injury time, Neymar played in Paqueta on the right to send a precise left-foot finish just inside the far post.

Miguel Borja scored four minutes into stoppage time to rescue a 2-2 draw for Colombia in a World Cup qualifier against Argentina in Barranquilla.

Argentina were off to a flying start, helped by woeful home defending, to move 2-0 up inside eight minutes through goals by Cristian Romero and Leandro Paredes.

But Colombia’s substitutes turned the game around in the second half as Luis Nuriel netted from the spot and then Borja snatched a point at the death.

“We went out to press, we scored two goals but unfortunately we couldn’t hold on, I think we were tired,” said Argentina forward Lautaro Martinez.

Argentina remain unbeaten in second place while Colombia are just outside the automatic qualification spots in fifth.

The visitors will be kicking themselves, though, after a fast start and having the better chances throughout.

Peru earned their first win of the qualification campaign but remained bottom of the group despite a surprise 2-1 success at Ecuador.

Christian Cueva converted a rapier counter attack on 62 minutes and Luis Advincula all but secured victory eight minutes from time, shooting through goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez’s legs.

Gonzalo Plata’s injury time strike was but a consolation for Ecuador, who nonetheless remain third.

In Caracas, Venezuela held Uruguay to a 0-0 draw to remain above Peru on goal difference, while the visitors clung on to a top four automatic qualification spot.

Marcelo Moreno’s penalty eight minutes from time earned Bolivia a 1-1 draw in Santiago with dominant Chile, who took the lead through Erick Pulgar on 69 minutes.





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