Brazil beat Chile 3-0; on track for 2010 World Cup

September 8th, 2008 - 1:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Santiago, Sep 8 (DPA) Brazil thrashed Chile 3-0 to climb back to a place in the table that would grant it a place in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.After seven rounds of play, Paraguay leads with 14 points, followed by Brazil and Argentina on 12 and Uruguay on 11. Colombia and Chile have 10 points each.

A Luis Fabiano header was on target to open Sunday’s scoring in Santiago in the 20th minute.

Chilean keeper Claudio Bravo contained a penalty kick from Ronaldinho after Marco Estrada committed an ugly foul on Diego in the box that could have made things 2-0 in the 36th minute and again showed off after the resulting corner kick.

In a key psychological blow, however, Robinho froze the host’s hopes as he managed to increase the visitor’s count just before half-time.

Brazilian defender Kleber was sent off for a second bookable offence two minutes after the break, again opening up the game, and five minutes later, Ronaldinho left the pitch to make room for Juan.

Jorge Valdivia was sent off for Chile in the 61st minute, and man-of-the-match Luis Fabiano fought hard to beat a defender for possession of the ball to score the final goal in the 82nd minute.

“Our team played very well,” Ronaldinho said. “We are happy because it worked out well.”

The power of Brazilian strikers made all the difference with a Chilean side that had good chances, particularly in the first half, but that gradually seemed to become powerless in the face of a stronger rival.

The clear win was particularly important ahead of Brazil’s game against lowly Bolivia Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro. In June, Brazilian fans booed their team in Belo Horizonte, and their mood towards Dunga in particular did not improve with a lacklustre bronze medal in the Beijing Olympics.

Amid calls for the coach to be sacked, the three points obtained in Santiago were likely to give Dunga and his men very welcome air.

The win made a graphic reference to Brazil’s arch-rival, who claimed the Olympic gold medal in Beijing.

In the eighth round of play, Paraguay will host Venezuela Tuesday, while Wednesday is set to feature the following games: Uruguay-Ecuador, Chile-Colombia, Brazil-Bolivia and Peru-Argentina.

In South America’s 10-team World Cup qualifiers, each side plays at home and away with each of the other nine teams. The top four win a place in the World Cup, with the fifth-place team facing a representative of the North, Central American and Caribbean region in a playoff.

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