Brazil cruise, Argentina held as South American World Cup qualification race heats up

Brazil cruise, Argentina held as South American World Cup qualification race heats up

Regardless of the unrest within the Brazil camp about enjoying within the Copa America, it has not affected their type in World Cup qualification.

Tuesday’s 2-Zero win away to Paraguay made it six wins out of six within the marketing campaign, and showcased a aspect that seems to be transferring in the best path. For some time the defeat to Belgium within the quarterfinal of the 2018 World Cup hung over coach Tite, even after successful the 2019 Copa America on house floor. Now his team has one of the best assault (16 objectives scored) and one of the best defence (simply 2 conceded) in South America. They usually even have plenty of fascinating variations.

For the match in Paraguay, Tite switched to a 4-4-2, with Roberto Firmino and Neymar up entrance. Firmino drove the Paraguay defence again, giving Neymar house to select up the ball and run. The important thing concept was to make use of Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison on the flanks — Jesus extensive proper, outdoors the opposing again three, and Richarlison reducing in from the left.

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The tactic took lower than 4 minutes to bear fruit. Proper-back Danilo hit the ball lengthy to Jesus, whose cross was practically met by Richarlison, and as an alternative collected by Neymar arriving on the far publish, controlling neatly and sliding house with calm competence.

Brazil took a very long time to kill off the sport, however Paraguay hardly threatened. Keeper Ederson, surprisingly chosen forward of Alisson, made an outstanding save, flying left to tip over when defender Omar Alderete met a clearance with a blistering long-range shot. There was additionally a routine save in direction of the top from substitute right-back Alberto Espinola. And little or no else — Paraguay appeared to search out it onerous to consider {that a} purpose was attainable towards the tight defensive unit so nicely marshalled by Marquinhos.

Paraguay did mark higher after the break, sending centre-back Junior Alonso increased up the sector to shut down Neymar. Brazil’s No. 10 had the final snicker, although. In stoppage-time he carved open the defence and handed proper for half-time substitute Lucas Paqueta to information in a left footed shot in off the far publish.

Paqueta is an fascinating case. He’s a flexible determine in a position to fill nearly any position throughout the midfield or the assault. On Friday, he began towards Ecuador in a central attacking midfield position. Failing to click on there he was moved extensive proper, the place he in all probability lacks the tempo to be a world beater. After which he dropped deeper to central midfield, filling in when Fred was substituted. That is the place his vary of passing was most helpful. It’s a position, although, that requires defensive self-discipline, and Tite nonetheless has his doubts.

So it was fascinating to see him come on for Fred at half-time on Tuesday and function as soon as extra on this position. He spent some 25 minutes there, and did nearly play the team into bother a few times. Then he moved up entrance when Firmino was rested, and he completed the match extensive on the best, from the place he scored his purpose — one thing that can do wonders for the arrogance of a participant nonetheless discovering his method within the nationwide team.

There are hopes that he might be the substitute for Renato Augusto, the all-round midfielder who was so influential in Brazil’s golden run in late 2016 and thru 2017. Actually that is one of the best Brazil have seemed since then.



Ale Moreno questions if Argentina’s improved again line would be the catalyst to serving to Lionel Messi win a trophy.

And Argentina are wanting pretty much as good as at any time because the 2016 Copa Centenario, although there are nonetheless issues to handle and they are going to be sad to have dropped two factors in a 2-2 draw away to Colombia.

It seemed for a very long time as if all three factors had been within the bag — however primarily as a result of Colombia did their greatest to self destruct proper at first. With two strapping centre-backs in Yerry Mina and Davinson Sanchez, coach Reinaldo Rueda can have been assured that his aspect might take care of routine free kicks into the field. However from the primary one they confronted, they had been outjumped by Cristian Romero, who headed house. And with two specialist defensive midfielders, Rueda would have imagined that it might be not possible for Leandro Paredes to stroll by way of the center and beat the keeper. However all of that occurred, and Colombia had been two objectives down inside eight minutes. After lower than half an hour Rueda was making attacking adjustments, and there have been three extra at half-time.

Argentina, in the meantime, had been wanting like a team. With three in central midfield linking up with Lionel Messi, that they had an fascinating circuit of possession. And, finally, there have been indicators of a greater relationship between Messi and centre-forward Lautaro Martinez. That they had possibilities to kill off the sport on the counter-attack. However when the circuit broke down, there have been indicators of vulnerability.

The standard of the defence is the large query mark towards Argentina — because it has been for a while. Tuesday’s draw did little to clear up the doubts — although they had been unfortunate to lose keeper Emiliano Martinez, pressured off after an unsightly collision with Mina.

Quickly after half-time Nico Otamendi, rattled by a cross from the Colombian left, dedicated an pointless penalty and Luis Muriel pulled one again. Argentina re-enforced the defence, switching to a few centre-backs, however nonetheless they crumbled. With nearly the final motion of the sport Juan Cuadrado crossed from the best, striker Miguel Borja climbed above Juan Foyth and despatched a header by way of substitute keeper Agustin Marchesin. Argentina stay unbeaten — they haven’t misplaced because the semifinal of the 2019 Copa — however they’re now a full six factors behind Brazil.

They’re, although, three factors forward of third-placed Ecuador, who missed an enormous alternative to achieve floor with a shock 2-1 defeat at house to Peru. Ecuador began off with two centre-forwards, and the system by no means labored. They pressed for a lot of the sport, however had been at all times weak to the thrust and motion of Gianluca Lapadula. Italian-born and introduced up however with a Peruvian mom, Lapadula has solely lately thrown in his lot with Peru. However he seems to be one of the best factor to occur to the nationwide team shortly. He arrange each objectives — one for Christian Cueva and the opposite for Luis Advincula. The extremely promising Gonzalo Plata pulled one again for Ecuador in stoppage time.

Each Peru and Ecuador will in all probability be relieved that the match between Venezuela and Uruguay ended goalless — the third consecutive sport that Uruguay have failed to search out the web. And the spherical was accomplished with one other draw. Chile missed the prospect to leapfrog to fourth place after being held 1-1 at house to Bolivia. The one shiny spark for Chile was a purpose from midfielder Erick Pulgar — the primary time within the marketing campaign that somebody aside from Arturo Vidal or Alexis Sanchez has scored for them. Bolivia secured a degree with a late penalty from captain and centre-forward Marcelo Martins Moreno, who’s single handedly maintaining them in rivalry for a spot in Qatar.

For the second, although, everybody can dream. There are 12 rounds nonetheless to play, and the underside pair of Venezuela and Peru are solely 4 factors off the qualification locations.

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