Brazil secures World Cup berth

Phiippe Coutinho Neymar and Marcelo were

The result at Corinthians Arena here on Tuesday lifted Brazil to 33 points from 14 matches and all but guaranteed the five-time world champions a place at football's showpiece tournament in Russian Federation next year, reports Xinhua news agency.

Brazil became the very first nation to meet the requirements for next year's World Cup in Russian Federation thanks to some assistance from fellow South Americans Peru.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring in the 35th minute after linking up with Paulinho, with Neymar doubling the lead just after the hour mark, making up for an earlier missed penalty before Marcelo sealed the win with a goal four minutes from time.

But that didn't stop the Brazil national coach Tite from giving the star the captaincy band for a World Cup qualifying match against Paraguay on Tuesday, a position the coach usually rotates.

Argentina's Lionel Messi leaves the pitch after a 2018 Russia World Cup qualifying soccer match between Argentina and Chile at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday March 23, 2017.

Argentina dropped down the standings after losing 2-0 away to Bolivia at high altitude in La Paz, weakened by the absence of Messi as he began a four-match suspension.

The win coupled with Uruguay's loss sends the Selecao' to Russian Federation with four games to spare.




The FC Barcelona player has been banned for four worldwide matches for directing "insulting words" at an assistant referee during last Thursday's 1-0 win over Chile. Russian Federation is automatically in as the host nation.

Earlier in the evening, Neymar had scored the second goal in the comprehensive defeat of Paraguay at Arena Corinthians.

Five-time world champions Brazil triumphed in Japan and Korea in 2002 but bowed out in the quarter-finals at each of the subsequent two editions of the competition.

Argentina without their talisman Lionel Messi due to suspension are in fifth place and would have to qualify for Russian Federation via a playoff with an Oceania side.

Colombia, Chile and Uruguay are all now with Brazil in the automatic qualifying positions.

While Brazil celebrated, Argentina slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Bolivia in La Paz. But coach Tite arrived and made adjustments. We know this, we are humble enough to respect our adversaries, we have to play.

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