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Brazil boost their World Cup qualifying hopes in Chile

©

Latest update : 2008-09-08

Stylish Brazil defeated Chile 3-0 in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday in Santiago moving from sixth to second place in the South American group, ahead of Argentina on goal difference and two points behind Paraguay.

Two goals from man-of-the match Luiz Fabiano and one from Manchester City's new signing Robinho put Brazil's World Cup qualification back on track here Sunday with a 3-0 win over Chile.

The five-times World Cup winners had been languishing in sixth place in the 10-team South American zone qualifier, two places outside of assuring one of the four automatic places for the 2010 finals in South Africa.

And with coach Dunga under constant criticism for recent poor performances, including from his country's president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the trip to Santiago had loomed as a potential disaster.

Chile opened well and dominated proceedings, but it was Sevilla striker Fabiano who opened the scoring against the run of play in the 20th minute when he headed home a Ronaldinho free-kick.

It was Brazil's first goal in 317 minutes play, the last having come in a friendly against Canada in June.

The AC Milan midfielder, showing glimpses of his top form, had the chance to make it 2-0 after Diego was downed in the box in the 34th minute, but his penalty-kick was superbly saved by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

Ten minutes later and on the stroke of half-time though Fabiano made an opening for former Real Madrid star Robinho and he made no mistake to make it 2-0.

Cheered on by a capacity 70,000 crowd, the Chileans flung everything into attack at the start of the second half, and with tempers flaring both Brazil's Kleber Anderson and and Chile's Jorge Valvidia were sent off.

With Brazil content to sit back on their lead, the home side pressed forward and were caught out eight minutes from time when Fabiano struck for his second goal of the match with a shot that went through Bravo's legs.

The win hoisted Brazil into second place in the standings level on 12 points from seven games with eternal rivals Argentina but ahead on goal difference.

Paraguay remain top on 14 points ahead of Wednesday's eighth round of games which see Brazil host bottom dogs Bolivia and Argentina travel to second-bottom Peru. Paraguay also have a comfortable looking matchup against third from bottom Venezuela.

"I think that our president will be happy today as will all Brazilians thanks to the way our team played," former World Cup skipper Dunga said.

"In Brazil we have a lot of obligations: first of all to win, secondly to score a lot of goals and thirdly to put on a show - it's not always possible."
 

Saturday
   
Peru 1 (Alva Niezen 39) Venezuela 0
   
Colombia 0 Uruguay 1 (Eguren 15)
   
Ecuador 3 (Caicedo 21, Mendez 51-pen, Benitez 72) Bolivia 1 (Botero 41)
   
Argentina 1 (Aguero 61) Paraguay 1 (Heinze 12-og)
 

Date created : 2008-09-08

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