Brazil beat Venezuela 1-0 at home in a nail biting match. With the win, Brazil takes lead in South American World Cup qualifying with nine points from three matches. Roberto Firmino scored the winning goal in Sao Paulo from close range in the 67th minute.
Brazil did not featured six players from its main lineup for the match, including star play Neymar owing to injury. They will also not play in Tuesday’s clash against Uruguay in an away match. Earlier Uruguay defeated Colombia 3-0 in away match. Uruguay currently holds fourth position after their win in Barranquilla with six points, one point behind second place Argentina.
Only the top four teams will directly qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The fifth-place team will have to pass another hurdle by playing inter-continental playoff.
During the match four goals were disallowed of Brazil – three due to offside, which was reviewed by video assistant referee and one owing to a foul. But even that could not hide the flaws of a disorganized team that was missing Neymar, midfielders Philippe Coutinho and Fabinho, and defenders Eder Militão, Rodrigo Caio and Gabriel Menino for the clash.
Though Venezuela defended well during most of the match, but were unable to create chances with their attack. The only goal of the match at the Morumbi stadium came when midfielder Everton Ribeiro crossed from the right, left-back Renan Lodi won a head contest with Venezuelan defenders and the ball ended with Firmino, who just pushed it to the net.
With that Firmino now has scored in all three Brazil matches in World Cup qualifiers. Brazil was last defeated in South American World Cup qualifiers by Chile back in 2015, but the performance and the absent players gave the impression that record is at serious risk at Uruguay.
Uruguay beats Colombia 3-0 in a match where goals were scored by 33-year-old strikers Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez, and Darwin Nuñez added the third. Uruguay was playing without important players like goalkeeper Martín Silva, defender Sebastián Coates, midfielder Federico Valverde, and striker Maxi Gómez.
Uruguay scored in the fifth minute due to a mistake by Colombia defender Yerry Mina. Mina lost the ball near his penalty box, Nahitan Nández pounced, and Cavani just pushed the ball gently from close range, giving no chance to goalkeeper David Ospina.
Colombia missed a chance when the ball hit the right post by a Duván Zapata’s header. Uruguay counterattacked soon after. Rodrigo Betancur stopped a Colombia push and passed to Suárez. The striker then passed it back to Betancur inside the penalty box and the midfielder was brought down by Jeison Murillo. Suárez, the top goal scorer in South American qualifiers, scored in the 54th minute from spot.
At 73rd minute, Nuñez was able to make it 3-0. Colombia got into much trouble after defender Mina was sent off after receiving a second yellow card in the last minute of the game. Colombia now fall to seventh place in the standings. It will next play against Ecuador in Quito.
Carlos Queiroz, Colombia coach said “In the two first goals we made mistakes, we have to take responsibility. They made fewer mistakes and in soccer that is the team that wins.”
On Friday, Chile defeated Peru 2-0 with Arturo Vidal netting in the 20th minute with a screamer from mid-range and in the 35th minute, just pushing the ball past the line. Chile is now placed at sixth place with four points. Their next match is at Venezuela on Tuesday. On the same day Peru, which is in eighth position with only one point, will host second-place Argentina.