Brazil Crush Copa America Champs' World Cup Hopes
Brazil Crush Copa America Champs' 2018 FIFA World Cup Hopes
Brazil beat Chile 3-0 on Wednesday morning, ending the Copa America champions' 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification hopes in the process. Here are all the results and permutations from the South American qualification group.
Chile, who were the only side to beat Brazil during 2018 World Cup qualification, needed a positive result to keep their hopes of qualifying for Russia alive.
Brazil goalkeeper Ederson had to make the first save of the game after Eduardo Vargas managed to direct a header on target.
Chile were then awarded a free-kick in a decent position in the 12th minute, but Alexis Sanchez's effort sailed straight into Ederson's hands.
Just minutes later, Neymar had Brazil's first real chance after being set up by Paulinho, but his shot was saved by Claudio Bravo.
Brazil then enjoyed most of the possession in the rest of the first half, and it was Gabriel Jesus who was handed the biggest chance when Renato Augusto picked him out in the box but the Manchester City striker's header was not well placed.
Brazil eventually took the lead in the 55th minute after Claudio Bravo failed to clear a free-kick by Dani Alves properly, and Paulinho poached the rebound into the net from close range.
A minute later, Jesus doubled Brazil's lead after being set up by Neymar. Sanchez almost immediately bounced back for Chile, but his low shot following a corner just missed the target.
Chile tried to find a goal but did so without any luck as Brazil scored from a counter in the 92nd minute after goalkeeper Bravo had gone up for a corner.
The result means that the Copa America champions dropped into sixth spot in the qualification table, and therefore failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.
Uruguay remained in second place after beating Bolivia 4-2, while Peru and Colombia cancelled each other out in a 1-1 stalemate. Lionel Messi's Argentina beat Ecuador 3-1 away from home courtesy of a hat-trick by the FC Barcelona superstar, and Paraguay somewhat surprisingly lost at home to Venezuela.
This means that Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia booked their ticket to Russia directly, while Peru will face New Zealand in an intercontinental playoff.
Do you think any of the South American teams can lift the World Cup in Russia? Have your say in the comments section below.