By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With the Seleção (Brazilian national team) winning 3-0 against Paraguay last night, and Uruguay defeating Peru 2-1, Brazil are now 33 points up on the qualifying table for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, guaranteeing them a spot with four rounds left in the competition.
Brazil had no trouble building the victory against Paraguay. Despite two great saves by the goalkeeper Anthony Silva of Paraguay, at 33 minutes the first goal of the night came. Coutinho started a beautiful play, passing with Paulinho and received a serve back to hit the back of the net in the right corner.
In the second half, the Seleção continued to dominate. At 18 minutes, the Neymar took off from the center circle on the left, and with a beautiful touch, which still deflected in the opponent’s defender, scored the second of Brazil.
Even up by two, Brazil continued with an offensive press on top of Paraguay. At 40 minutes, Neymar passed with Coutinho and served Paulinho. From his heel he passed to Marcelo, who put it over Anthony Silva and closed the scoring for the night at the Corinthians Arena in São Paulo.
The national team’s Coach Tite has been receiving heaps of praise but told a reporter, “Do you know why I do not want to individualize? Imagine the day I lose? Then everything will land on me. Let’s share this business there,” joked the coach.
The Brazil squad was: Alisson; Fagner, Marquinhos (Thiago Silva), Miranda and Marcelo; Casemiro, Paulinho, Renato Augusto and Philippe Coutinho (Willian); Neymar and Firmino (Diego Souza).
Now, the Seleção returns to the field for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers at the end of August, against Ecuador. Only the top five teams in the CONMEBOL qualifying table earn an automatic World Cup qualification.
Before that, coach Tite’s team will play two ‘friendly‘ games in June in Australia. Against Argentina, on the 9th, and against the home team on the 13th.