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2010 WC qualifier: Brazil get lucky against Uruguay

Reuters
Nov 22, 2007 at 05:31pm IST

Rio de Janeiro: Brazil came from behind to beat Uruguay 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday but were upstaged by Paraguay and Ecuador who both went on scoring sprees.

Luis Fabiano scored both goals as Brazil overcame their smaller neighbours in Sao Paulo on a night when they were heavily indebted to goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

Paraguay won 3-0 in Chile to go top of the South American qualifying group and Ecuador, who conceded five goals in each of their last two games, beat Peru 5-1 to pick up their first points.

TOUGH MATCH: Brazil's Ronaldinho fights for the ball with Uruguay's Diego Lugano during a World Cup qualifying game.

With four of the 18 rounds of matches played in the 10-team group, Paraguay lead with 10 points followed by Argentina (nine), Brazil and Colombia (eight), Venezuela (six), Uruguay and Chile (four), Ecuador (three), Peru (two) and Bolivia (one).

The top four qualify directly for South Africa in 2010 and the fifth play off against the fourth-placed team from the CONCACAF zone.

Paraguay, aiming for their fourth successive finals, will have plenty of time to saviour top spot as the tournament takes a break until June.

Sebastian Abreu gave Uruguay an eighth-minute lead and only Julio Cesar stopped them adding a second.

With the fickle Morumbi crowd already jeering, Luis Fabiano equalised with a shot through Fabian Carini's legs in the 44th minute.

The Sevilla striker scored the winner in the 64th minute after connecting with Gilberto's mis-hit shot.

One minute later, Julio Cesar made his best save of the game to keep out an Abreu header.

Bonus row

"We didn't play well, especially in the first half, and we gave the ball away a lot, when our passing is usually our strength," Dunga said.

Chile, who drew 2-2 in Uruguay on Sunday, went into their game in optimistic mood but their hopes were rudely ended by a typically efficient Paraguay performance.

Salvador Cabanas put Paraguay ahead in the 24th minute before defender Paulo da Silva scored from two headers, both from corners, either side of halftime, to stun the Santiago crowd.

Peru also had hopes after holding Brazil at home on Sunday but produced an astonishingly apathetic display in Quito amid reports that the players had protested over bonuses.

Walter Ayovi and Edison Mendez scored twice each for Ecuador and Ivan Kaviedes added the other, with Andres Mendoza replying.

Ecuador were under interim coach Sixto Vizuete after Luis Fernando Suarez quit following Saturday's 5-1 loss in Paraguay.

"I don't know what happened to the Peruvian team but they made life much easier for us," he said.

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