Brilliant Brazil seals its place for Russian Federation


Brazil have become the first side to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, after a 3-0 win over Paraguay in Sao Paulo on Tuesday night.

Their 10th win of the qualifying programme takes Brazil nine points clear at the top of the South American standings and coupled with Uruguay's defeat to Peru sealed their place in Russian Federation next summer.

Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring 10 minutes prior to the break at Arena Corinthians, combining with Paulinho, before Neymar added a second in the 64th minute after missing a second-half penalty.

Unbeaten since Tite replaced Dunga after last year's Copa America Centenario - keeping seven clean sheets during that run - Brazil moved nine points clear in the South American standings as Uruguay faced Peru in Tuesday's late fixture.

Thirty more teams will join Brazil, and hosts Russian Federation, at next summer's World Cup. "I will have a caipirinha this big", the coach said, showing with his hands that he wanted an extra-large drink.

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Arguably, Tite's most significant achievement since taking charge is to make Brazil less reliant on Barcelona superstar Neymar.

The pair's romance is perhaps the most talked-about in Brazil and came under some strain when the forward swapped his home nation for Catalonia in 2013. We see Neymar, [Roberto] Firmino and [Philippe] Coutinho playing well in their positions to be able to score.

Neymar said he was targeting another strong performance against Paraguay, but would be putting less pressure on himself.

Barcelona next play on Sunday at home to Granada before they head to Sevilla for a tough away match. As you saw in the stadium, there was a lot of positive energy. Marcelo, wing-back Dani Alves and midfielder Paulinho are all regulars. "Everyone is working hard in each training, giving our lives".

The stellar run has Brazil sitting on 33 points after 14 matches.

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Paraguay have the 2nd worst goalscoring record in South American World Cup qualifying, averaging just 1 goal per game.

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"We only learn when we get hurt or do something wrong".

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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