At halftime: All even in a thriller between Brazil and Chile — FOLLOW LIVE

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Even before the match started, we knew this was going to be a special one, as both teams – and sets of fans – absolutely belted out their respective anthems, filling the Estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte with plenty of noise. Add to that two teams bent on attack, and with marked weaknesses in defense, and it’s no wonder the first 45 minutes flew by.

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Goals

18′: It looked as though own goal struck once more, knocking in his fourth goal of the competition. It seemed Gonzalo Jara put Brazil in front in a manner that very well could have been predicted. Neymar sent in the corner, Thiago Silva got his head on it, and David Luiz celebrated like he put it in the net. Replays seemed to show the ball came off the Chile defender, but FIFA credited it to David Luiz.

32′: Chile tie it up! A short set of passes stemming from a failed throw-in by Brazil confounds the defenders, eventually resulting in a loose ball landing at the feet of Alexis Sánchez, waiting in the middle. His low shot is too quick for Júlio César, who cant get down enough to stop it from finding the back of the net.

Other key moments

6′: Marcelo has the first shot of the game, and unlike against Croatia, it’s toward Claudio Bravo’s net. It’s wide, though.

7′: Neymar gets treated with the magic spray, perhaps in an attempt to slow down what’s already been an intense game.

8′: Bravo saves on Hulk.

13′: Hulk appeals for a penalty after receiving an elbow in his back, but Howard Webb just shakes his head.

17′: Eugenio Mena gets a yellow, will miss the next match should Chile progress.

18′: which it doesn’t look like they’re going to do. Goal for Brazil.

32′: Or might Chile go through? Alexis Sánchez puts in the equalizer. 1-1.

36′: Brazil come agonizingly close to taking the lead once more, but Neymar’s header is deflected off Chile defender Silva. The resulting corner results in chaos, but somehow Brazil can’t knock it in.

39′: Neymar gets into a dangerous position, ends up going to ground. Fred picks up the slack, only to send his effort well high. He’s rocking an amazing mustache, however.

40′: Francisco Silva receives a yellow, will miss the next match if Chile progress. And with the way he’s playing, that may actually be to Chile’s benefit.

42′: Arturo Vidal easily zips past the Brazilian defense, but his effort is wide. Brazil’s counter gives Dani Alves a perfect opportunity, but Bravo is able to dig it out from under the bar.

45′: Chile very nearly take a lead going into the break, but this time the Brazil defense are there, smothering Charles Aránguiz to knock out for a corner.

LINEUPS

Brazil: Júlio César, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Luiz Gustavo, Fernandinho, Oscar; Neymar, Hulk, Fred.

Chile: Bravo; Silva, Medel, Jara; Isla, Aranguiz, Diaz, Mena; Vidal; Sánchez, Vargas.

Question for the second half

Who will win?
Um…yeah. These ones actually need a winner. Of course, if the game is tied after 90 minutes, we’ll have 30 more minutes in which the deadlock could be broken. And with the way this match is being played, probably no one is going to root against that possibility Except, of course, supporters of Brazil or Chile. They’re the ones that are going to be terrified should this go to penalties.

With the way both defenses are performing, and the fierce attack of both sides, this really could go either way.

STREAM: CONCACAF tripleheader concludes with USMNT

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CONCACAF’s bottom three sides in the Hex standings look to make the table incredibly tight as World Cup qualifying finds three-straight matches on the docket beginning at 5 p.m. EDT.

Honduras vs. Costa Rica

Los Catrachos were creamed 6-0 by the U.S. on Friday, and return home hoping a wounded Costa Rica remains vulnerable. Honduras is dead last on goal differential, but three points would be huge and put them level with Los Ticos. Costa Rica won its first two matches before falling to Mexico on Friday.

Trinidad and Tobago vs. Mexico

El Tri has two wins and a draw from their first three Hex matches, and will be without Rafa Marquez on Tuesday. A win guarantees Mexico the top spot heading into the next round of matches in June. The Soca Warriors surprised some with their 1-0 win over visiting Panama on Tuesday. Mexico is a different class.

Panama vs. USMNT

Despite its miserable start, the U.S. can find itself as high as second with a win and help from Honduras. The injuries remain plenty for the Yanks, who are without Fabian Johnson, Bobby Wood, Sebastian Lletget, and John Brooks. Panama has allowed just a single goal through three Hex matches, but also has only managed one.

AFC and Oceania wrap: Iran, New Zealand take next steps

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With CONMEBOL and CONCACAF serving as the main course later Tuesday, the morning and afternoon saw big World Cup qualifiers on the other side of the world.

[ MORE: Three keys for USA v Panama ] 

Asian qualifying

Iran is on the verge of qualification for Russia 2018 after Persepolis star Mehdi Taremi bagged his ninth international goal in a 1-0 home win over China.

Iran leads Group A by four points, but second-place South Korea and third-place Uzbekistan kept pace with 1-0 home wins of their own. Hong Jeong-ho scored in South Korea’s win over Syria, while Odil Ahmendov’s 65th minute free kick was enough to push Uzbekistan past Qatar.

The goalkeeping was… less than ideal.

Over in Group B, shutouts were the name of the game for high-powered hosts as well.

Japan stayed atop the group with a 4-0 win over Thailand, as a trio of players with Premier League experience — Maya Yoshida, Shinji Kagawa, and Shinji Okazaki — joined Gent’s Yuya Kubo on the scoreboard.

Saudi Arabia is level with Japan on points thanks to Yahya Al-Shehri’s post-halftime goal in a 1-0 win over Iraq, while Australia saw off United Arab Emirates thanks to goals from Burton Albion’s Jackson Irvine and Ingolstadt’s Mathew Leckie.

That leaves Australia three points behind Saudi Arabia and Japan in the race for two of three automatic spots. The Socceroos hosts the Green Falcons in June before an August trip to Saitama in a pair of matches which will decide who goes directly to Russia and who has to win a pair of playoffs: One against the Group A’s third-place team and another against CONCACAF’s fourth place side.

Oceania qualifying

New Zealand took the next step in collecting Oceania’s berth in the intercontinental playoff with a 2-0 win over Fiji in Wellington. PEC Zwolle winger Ryan Thomas bagged a brace for the All Whites.

New Zealand will next face either Tahiti, Solomon Islands, or Papua New Guinea over two legs in late August and early September for the right to battle the fifth place CONMEBOL team for a World Cup berth. That could be Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, or even Colombia.

Tahiti hosts Papua New Guinea at 1 a.m. EDT Wednesday, and will be the odds-on favorite to face New Zealand with a win.

After further tests, Lletget to miss 4-6 months

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So much for initial reports.

Less than 24 hours after the LA Galaxy announced that Sebastian Lletget had come through his injury on USMNT duty with no structural damage, a specialist found something worse.

Lletget has a Lisfranc injury and requires surgery, meaning the Galaxy and the U.S. will be without the midfielder for four to six months.

[ MORE: Spurs eager for U.S. return ]

Lletget, 24, spent a half-decade with West Ham but couldn’t break into the squad before returning to the U.S. last summer. He became a mainstay for the Galaxy, earning a call-up to the national team.

He scored his first USMNT goal on Friday to open the World Cup qualifier against Honduras, but was injured after a hard sliding tackle from Ever Alvarado.

Galaxy has depth beyond Lletget and Jermaine Jones, with Rafael Garcia, Joao Pedro, and Baggio Husidic able to fill a similar role, but this one stings for the Galaxy. Get well, Sebastian.

Scouting report: Everton target Orlando’s Cyle Larin

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Reports have been suggesting the Orlando City’s star striker Cyle Larin is attracting some serious interest from Premier League side Everton.

[ LIVE: Stream every PL game live ]

Larin, 21, has started the MLS season off in red-hot form and the report suggests the Toffees have bid $4 million for his talents. They’ll likely have to up that offer for the Canadian national team star.

What is Larin all about?

With Romelu Lukaku seeming to be heading towards the exit door this summer as his contract saga rumbles on, it’s not outlandish to state that Larin has a very similar style to the prolific Belgian international. Of course, he has yet to test himself in the PL and Lukaku’s boots would be a big pair to fill if Larin did arrive at Goodison Park as some kind of replacement in the coming months, yet when you watch Larin play there are so many similarities between the pair.

Ronald Koeman is always eager to give youth a chance and with Tom Davies, Ademola Lookman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all getting regular minutes this season, so Larin would get chances to impress if he ended up on Merseyside.

Here are some key stats Toffees fans will want to know too:

  • 17 – Number of goals Larin scored in his debut MLS season, the most-ever by a Rookie
  • Larin has scored all three of Orlando’s goals so far in the 2017 MLS season
  • He has scored 39 goals in 68 appearances for Orlando since arriving in 2015
  • For Canada, he has five goals in 19 appearances after making his debut as a teenager
  • Larin became the first-ever Canadian to be selected as the first overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft when he joined Orlando in 2015

Click play on the video above to see Larin’s best moments so far in MLS, as he continues his impressive development.