Brazil becomes first team to qualify for Russia, Argentina struggles
Brazil has become the first national team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia next year.
Brazil’s 3-0 win over Paraguay last night, along with defeats for Argentina and Uruguay, means they cannot finish lower than fourth in South American qualifying.
Goals from Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho, FC Barcelona striker Neymar and Real Madrid’s Marcelo secured the win for the South American giants.
Neymar also missed a penalty kick as his side moved nine points clear of second-placed Colombia.
The victory was Brazil’s eighth straight win under coach Tite. However, Paraguay, find themselves five points off the top four with only four games remaining.
Also two-time World Cup Champions Argentina face a battle to qualify for Russia after they suffered 0-2 loss to Bolivia in La Paz, leaving them fifth, a point behind Chile.
They will have to do so without forward Lionel Messi who was suspended for four matches by FiFA.
The FC Barcelona player was banned for directing “insulting words’’ at an assistant referee during last Thursday’s 1-0 win over Chile. Uruguay are in third position after suffering a 2-1 loss to Peru in Lima on Tuesday.
The team that finishes fifth will face the winners of the Oceania group in a two-legged play-off.