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Argentina drop two more qualifying points, Brazil thump Bolivia

  • Published at 11:34 am October 7th, 2016
  • Last updated at 01:47 pm October 7th, 2016
Argentina drop two more qualifying points, Brazil thump Bolivia
Argentina were held 2-2 by Peru in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers on Thursday, their second successive away draw without injured talisman Lionel Messi, which dropped them to fifth in the South American group. Defender Ramiro Funes Mori put Argentina ahead after 15 minutes but was responsible for Peru's late penalty equaliser that was converted by Christian Cueva. In between, Peru's veteran striker Paolo Guerrero equalised early in the second half and Gonzalo Higuain restored Argentina's lead in the 77th minute. After nine matches, the halfway point in the South American qualifiers, Uruguay top the table with 19 points followed by Brazil on 18 and Ecuador, Colombia and Argentina all on 16. Peru climbed one place to eighth with eight points. The top four go through to the 2018 finals in Russia while the team in fifth place, currently Argentina on goal difference, qualify for an intercontinental playoff against the Oceania winners for another berth. With 13 minutes to go, Higuian took a pass from Pablo Zabaleta on the right of the box and deftly chipped past Gallese for his 32nd Argentina goal. Funes Mori turned villain when he tripped Guerrero in the box and Cueva scored a deserved equaliser with the 84th-minute penalty. Bookings for Nicolas Otamendi, Zabaleta and Funes Mori mean they will be suspended when Argentina host Paraguay on Tuesday with coach Edgardo Bauza having to field an almost entirely different back four.

Imperious first half helps Brazil thump Bolivia

Brazil hammered Bolivia 5-0 in World Cup qualifiers on Thursday, giving coach Tite his third successive win in the most convincing performance from the five-time world champions for some time. Bolivia had not won a World Cup qualifier away from home since 1993 but Brazil were still excellent, particularly in the first half, when they scored four of their five goals. Neymar opened the scoring after just 10 minutes when he dispossessed Ronaldo Raldes on the halfway line and then worked a one-two with Gabriel Jesus, who left him with a simple tap in. [caption id="attachment_20595" align="alignnone" width="640"]Football Soccer - Brazil v Bolivia - - 6/10/16. Brazil's Neymar in action against Bolivia's Jhasmany Campos (L). REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes Brazil's Neymar in action against Bolivia's Jhasmany Campos during their World Cup 2018 Qualifier in Natal, Brazil REUTERS[/caption] Philippe Coutinho doubled their lead 15 minutes later when he capitalised on great work from Giuliano and Dani Alves to poke home from close range. Filipe Luis started the move for the third in his own half and after feeding Neymar, got the return pass and slotted the ball inside Carlos Lampe's near post. Gabriel Jesus gave them a 4-0 lead two minutes before half time when he deftly chipped Neymar's pass over Lampe. Substitute Roberto Firmino scored the fifth from a corner after 75 minutes, meaning Brazil stay in second place in the 10-team South American qualifying group. Uruguay maintained their place at the top of the group on 19 points, one ahead of Brazil with a 3-0 win over Venezuela. Nicolas Lodeiro headed home the opener in 28 minutes and then Edinson Cavani doubled their lead just seconds after half time before adding a third 12 minutes from time. Ecuador eased past Chile by the same scoreline with Antonio Valenzuela and Cristian Ramirez scoring in the first half before Felipe Caicedo made it three a minute into the second period to move into third on the standings on 16 points. Copa America champions Chile are struggling with 11 points from nine games. Edwin Carmona gave Colombia a 1-0 win in Paraguay when he dinked home a lovely chip in injury time. RESULTS Argentina 2 Funes Mori 16, Higuain 78 Peru 2 Guerrero 58, Cueva 84 (pen) Brazil 5 Neymer 11, Coutinho 26, Filippe Luis 39, Gabriel Jesus 44, Firmino 76  Bolivia 0 Uruguay 3 Lodeiro 29, Cavani 46, 79  Venezueala o Ecuador 3 Valencia 19, Ramirez 23, Caicedo 46   Chile 0 Columbia 1 Cardona 90 Paraguay 0 STANDING Standing P W D L GF GA +/- Pts Uruguay 9 6 1 2 19 5 14 19 Brazil 9 5 3 1 21 9 12 18 Ecuador 9 5 1 3 16 12 4 16 Colombia 9 5 1 3 13 10 3 16 Argentina 9 4 4 1 11 8 3 16 Paraguay 9 3 3 3 9 12 -3 12 Chile 9 3 2 4 13 15 -2 11 Peru 9 2 2 5 10 17 -7 8 Bolivia 9 2 1 6 9 18 -9 7 Venezuela9 0 2 7 9 24 -15 2
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