The fourth round of 2018 World Cup qualifying in South America produced some big wins for the big boys as Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and the surprising runaway leaders Ecuador all won on Tuesday.
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Argentina edged a tight encounter with Colombia, while Uruguay powered post Chile 3-0, which is the same scoreline Brazil beat Peru by. Ecuador won away at Venezuela and Paraguay prevailed at home against Bolivia.
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Below is a brief recap on each game as things remain tight in CONMEBOL but remember it is a marathon not a sprint to the 2018 World Cup in Russia as just four matches from 18 have been played so far.
Colombia 0-1 Argentina
Lucas Biglia was the hero for La Albiceleste as his early strike was enough to down Colombia and hand Argentina their first win of the qualifying campaign. Gerardo Martino’s side now sit in sixth place with five points from their opening four games which has seen them miss Lionel Messi while he’s been out with an injury. As for Colombia, they sit in seventh place on four points.
Venezuela 1-3 Ecuador
La Tricolor are the only team in South America perfect through the opening four games and they comfortably dispatched their neighbors Venezuela away from home. Ecuador raced into a 3-0 lead on the hour mark with Fidel Martinez, Swansea City’s Jefferson Montero and Felipe Caciedo all on the scoresheet. Venezuela grabbed a late consolation through Josef Martinez but they sit bottom of the standings with four-straight defeats to open up qualifying. Ecuador sit pretty on top with 12 points and a three point cushion on Uruguay in second.
Paraguay 2-1 Bolivia
Yasmani Duk gave Bolivia the lead in Asuncion but Paraguay fought back to seal the win with goals from Dario Lezcano and Lucas Barrios keeping them in the fourth and final automatic qualifying spot on seven points. Bolivia sit in seventh on three points.
Uruguay 3-0 Chile
La Celeste continue their impressive qualifying campaign without Luis Suarez as they powered past reigning Copa America champs Chile in Montevideo. Captain Diego Godin gave them the lead in the first half and goals from Alvaro Pereira and Martin Caceres in the second half sealed the win to keep Uruguay in second place on nine points and get revenge on Chile after their quarterfinal defeat in the Copa America. Chile, who finished the game with 10-men as JorgeValdivia was sent off, sit in fifth spot on seven points.
Brazil 3-0 Peru
Dunga’s boys eased past Peru in Salvador as Douglas Costa, Renato Augusto and Filipe Luis scored the goals which moves the Seleceao up to third in the standings on seven points. Peru sit second from bottom with three points from their opening four games.