Brazil and Argentina win in World Cup qualifying

Ross Houston
April 4, 2017

Former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho scored a hat-trick for Brazil in a World Cup qualifier - and the club's supporters were shocked on Twitter with his goal scoring exploits.

A Paulinho brace helped Brazil to a 4-1 victory over Uruguay in a clash of the top two teams in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying on Thursday. This is one of the biggest clashes today as they were fighting for first 2 spots to enter Federation Internationale de Football Association 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Brazil nearly took the lead at the 33rd-minute, when a Neymar free kick rebounded off Uruguay's wall of defenders and into the waiting foot of Casemiro. It has produced six wins in six matches and 17 goals in South American qualifiers.

It was the first time that Brazil had gone behind since Tite took over as coach last summer and it only took them 10 minutes to show they would not be bowed. At 52 minutes, Paulinho scored again to put the visitors in front.

Uruguay stepped up the pressure in search of an equaliser, but Brazil posed a constant danger on the break.

But after Brazil and Uruguay, the race for the other qualifying spots is wide open with only six matches remaining.

It didn't end there. "Not in my wildest dreams I expected something like this", the midfielder said after the match. "Here you have a really strong atmosphere, energy", Tite said. Our team is very self-aware that it has to triangulate.

"At the beginning of the match, as they [Uruguay] were working at home, we knew they would press us".

Listen to the Live Commentary of Uruguay vs Brazil Fifa Worldcup qualifier on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Cavani then stepped up and powered his shot low and to the right of Alisson to give the home side a 1-0 advantage. The win moved Eduardo Bauza's side up to third in the table, with Chile slipping to sixth. "Suarez is a great player". "We have to keep our cool, and that's what we did here", Neymar said. It's going to be hard but we know what we're capable of and we know how well we can play. "It was like a knockout stage match". We managed to deal with it and fight for a good result.

Elsewhere, seventh-place Paraguay beat fifth-place Ecuador 2-1 and bottom team Venezuela drew 2-2 with eighth-place Peru. If not, qualification should follow next week against Paraguay.

With both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo entering the autumns of their respective careers, 25-year-old Neymar is surely destined to eventually take their places as the best player on the planet.

The last time Argentina won at 3,600 meters high was in 2005.

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