World Cup Qualification: CONMEBOL – Paulinho’s hattrick destroy  Uruguay; Messi’s  penalty enough to beat Chile

​Colombia 1 – 0 Bolivia

Uruguay 1 – 4 Brazil

Paraguay 2 – 1 Ecuador

Argentina 1 – 0 Chile

Venezuela 2 – 2 Peru

  • Uruguay 1 – 4 Brazil

Paulinho hit a hat-trick as Brazil recorded a 4-1 victory over Uruguay in Montevideo to move seven points clear in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying standings.

Neymar was also on target with a delightful lob after Edinson Cavani had given Uruguay an early lead from the penalty spot.

It was an eighth straight win for the Selecao under Tite and leaves them on the verge of qualifying for the World Cup in Russia with five games remaining.

Neymar posed an early threat to the Uruguay defence and some nifty footwork down the right earned him some room in the third minute, but his dangerous cross evaded everyone in the box.

But it was the hosts who went ahead in the ninth minute from the penalty spot after Cavani was brought down by goalkeeper Alisson.

Cavani picked himself up to take the penalty himself and made no mistake in beating Alisson.

Uruguay then defended with discipline, but, as often is the case, Brazil found a way to create something and drew level in the 18th minute.

Paulinho scored the first of his goals to put Brazil level in the 19th minute — the Guangzhou Evergrande man rifling home from distance after picking up the ball unmarked.

Paulinho put Brazil in front after the break, pouncing onto a spilled save of a Roberto Firmino shot and punching home from close range for his third goal in as many games for his country.

Neymar then sealed the points in the 75th — the Barcelona superstar racing onto a lobbed through ball behind the defence and chipping over goalkeeper Martin Silva who’d come out of his net.

The win puts Brazil, now on 30 points from 13 matches, in a commanding lead ahead of the second-placed Uruguayans, who have 23.

  • Argentina 1 – 0 Chile

Lionel Messi converted a penalty as Argentina defeated defending Copa America champions Chile 1-0 in Buenos Aires.

The Albiceleste rose to third in the CONMEBOL table with victory, and it was the Barcelona superstar who gave them the points.

Angel Di Maria went down in the box after minimal contact from Chile defender Jose Fuenzalida, setting the stage for Messi, who missed his penalty attempt in the 2016 Copa America final against the Chileans, who then sent Claudio Bravo the wrong way for the game’s only goal.

  • ​Colombia 1 – 0 Bolivia

Colombia needed a late James Rodriguez goal to beat a resolute Bolivia 1-0 in Baranquilla.

Colombia, who came into the day a point outside the qualifying zone, needed a victory against ninth-placed Bolivia to keep pace with the top-five teams.

And Jose Pekerman’s men picked up the points in the 83rd minute through captain Rodriguez. Juan Cuadrado won a penalty just inside the box and the Real Madrid star slotted home the rebound after his initial penalty was saved back into his path.

  • Paraguay 2 – 1 Ecuador

Paraguay defeated sliding Ecuador to keep their qualification hopes alive with a 2-1 win in Asuncion.

Bruno Valdez put the hosts in front in the 12th minute with a header from close range after a set piece. Junior Alonso then sealed the points just after the hour mark, firing home a rebound from close range after Esteban Dreer saved Cecilio Dominguez’s initial effort.

A Felipe Caicedo penalty in the 70th minute gave Ecuador some hope, but there would be no comeback on the night.

  • Venezuela 2 – 2 Peru

Peru salvaged a 2-2 draw against last-placed Venezuela in Monagas.

Mikel Villanueva put the home side up after 24 minutes, before Romulo Otero doubled their advantage on the night.

But second-half goals from Andre Carrillo (46th) and Paolo Guerrero (64th) earned the Peruvians a share of the points.


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