Ten minutes was all it took for Brazil to open the scoring against Uruguay in their latest qualifier. Neymar squeezed the ball in from a tight angle after controlling it on his chest and going around goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. The lead itself did not come as a shock as Tite’s team had dominated the early proceedings, just as they have done throughout the qualifiers.
Leeds United attacker Raphinha – a new addition to the national team – added a second in the 18th minute. Neymar, again, played a crucial role in the build-up; it was his deflected shot that Muslera inadvertently parried straight into the path of Raphinha – who was left with a simple tap-in.
Muslera kept Brazil at bay, single-handedly at times. The Uruguayan shot-stopper made superb saves from Neymar on either side of the break, but there was nothing he could do to stop Raphinha from putting the Selecao up by three in the 58th minute with a well-taken strike from inside the box.
Luis Suarez pulled one back for Uruguay with a sensational free-kick in the 77th minute, only for Gabriel Barbosa to restore Brazil’s three-goal cushion six minutes later.
Meanwhile, Argentina beat Peru 1-0 in Buenos Aires, consolidating their spot in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The Albiceleste – unbeaten in five – are hot on the trail of Brazil, who are ahead of them by six, having scored 31 points so far.
However, things could have been far worse for Argentina, who survived an early onslaught from Peru. Luis Advincula and Gianluca Lapadula tested Emiliano Martinez during the early stages of the match, but the custodian came out on top on both occasions. Later, after a few failed volleys, Lautaro Martinez put Argentina ahead. The Inter Milan forward scored with a stunning glanced header at the near post from a cross by Nahuel Molina.
Peru were awarded a penalty kick in the 63rd minute after a foul in the box by Martinez. However, Yoshimar Yotun blasted his spot-kick on the crossbar and over. Argentina held their position for the remainder of the game to come out with a hard-fought victory.