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WC 2022 QUALIFIERS | CONMEBOL

Brazil maintain 100% record as Colombia snatch late draw against Argentina

An early goal from Neymar and a late second from Paqueta gave Brazil a 2-0 win against Paraguay in Asuncion on Tuesday, giving them a sixth straight victory in South America's preliminaries.

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Brazil maintain 100% record as Colombia snatch late draw against Argentina
NORBERTO DUARTE AFP

An early goal from Neymar and a late second from Lucas Paqueta gave Brazil a 2-0 win against Paraguay in a World Cup qualifier in Asuncion on Tuesday, giving them a sixth straight victory in South America's preliminaries.

Brazil had not beaten Paraguay away from home since 1985 but that record looked in danger as early as the third minute when Neymar controlled an awkward cross from Gabriel Jesus and side-footed home from eight meters out.

The Paris St Germain striker came into this match with four goals and three assists in their five qualifying games so far, the best haul in the tournament, and the goal was his 66th in 105 games for Brazil.

“It was a game where we scored early in the first half and that really settled us down and allowed us to play the ball about and Paraguay had to chase the game and we killed it right at the end,” said defender Marquinhos.

Wearing their change blue strips, Brazil were on top throughout and should have added to their total before the fourth minute of injury time when Paqueta scored with a splendid left-foot shot into the bottom corner.

Paraguay were unbeaten in five games in the South American qualifiers but rarely threatened the visitors, and even when they did they found Ederson, a surprise choice to replace Alisson Becker in goal, equal to their efforts, with one flying save from Omar Alderete right out the top drawer.

The clean sheet was Brazil’s fifth in their six games and they are off to their best start to a World Cup qualifying campaign since 1969, when they also won their first six games.

The result leaves them top of the South American qualifying group for Qatar 2022 with a maximum 18 points. The top four teams qualify automatically for Qatar and the fifth-place side go into an intercontinental play-off.

Colombia secure 2-2 draw

Argentina scored twice in the first eight minutes but could not withstand Colombia’s second-half pressure as the hosts rallied for a 2-2 draw in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

Cristian Romero and Leandro Paredes gave the visitors a two-goal lead with less than 10 minutes on the clock before Colombia's Luis Muriel pulled one back from the penalty spot six minutes into the second half.

Colombia substitute Miguel Borja then grabbed a sensational equaliser with a header deep into stoppage time.

The result leaves Argentina in second place behind Brazil in the 10-team South American qualifying group for Qatar 2022. The top four qualify automatically while the fifth-placed side go into an intercontinental playoff.

Colombia v Argentina - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar QualifierBARRANQUILLA, COLOMBIA - JUNE 08: Lionel Messi of Argentina looks on during a match between Colombia and Argentina as part of South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 at Estadio Metropolitano on June 08, 2021 in Barranquilla, Colombia. (Photo by Gabriel Aponte/Getty Images)

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