November 18 – Brazil defeated Uruguay 2-0 in Montevideo courtesy of goals from Arthur and Richarlison to maintain a perfect record and top spot in South American World Cup qualifying. In Quito, Ecuador steamrollered Colombia 6-1.
The five-time world champions have never missed out on the global finals and Brazil seem another shoo-in for the 2022 tournament in Qatar after completing a fourth win in as many matches in Conmebol qualifying.
On Tuesday, they travelled to the Uruguayan capital for a daunting match against Oscar Tabarez’s formidable team, but even without Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Casemiro, Brazil ran out comfortable winners, doing the damage before the break and controlling proceedings in the second half.
Tabarez had never beaten Brazil with Uruguay and his team were without Luis Suarez, due to a positive covid-19 test, and Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde. In the 34th, Juventus’ Arthur got the opening goal after his attempt from the edge of the box took a deflection. On the stroke of half-time, Everton’s Richarlison converted a delivery from Renan Lodi with a fine header inside the far post.
In the second half, Brazil kept Uruguay at arm’s length with central defensive pairing of Thiago Silva and Marquinhos and Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz doing the defensive duties. Uruguay rattled the woodwork twice, but failed to score. Striker Edison Cavani was send off to compound Uruguay’s problematic night.
Brazil retain top spot in South America’s qualifying group on 12 points having previously beating Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela. Argentina and Lionel Messi sit in second place in the table on 10 points after they defeated Peru 2-0 with first-half strikes from both Nicolas Gonzales and Lautaro Martinez.
Ecuador moved into third following a thumping 6-1 win against Colombia at home. It was the second heavy defeat for the Colombians in a matter of days. On Friday they suffered a 0-3 loss on home soil against Uruguay and the humiliation in Quito leaves coach Carlos Queiroz’s future in serious doubt. Colombia were trailing by four goals inside the first 40 minutes and never looked the part.
Sitting in seventh place, the Colombians will have it all to do when they host Brazil next in March.
In South America, the top four teams will qualify for the World Cup with the fifth-placed team condemned to the longer route of an international play-off.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1606913411labto1606913411ofdlr1606913411owedi1606913411sni@o1606913411fni1606913411