Brazil stumbles with 1-1 draw against Ecuador

March 30th, 2009 - 4:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Quito (Ecuador), March 30 (DPA) Brazil looked well poised to win against Ecuador, but the home side equalised just one minute before the end of the game at high altitude here at the South American qualifiers towards the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
In the other game that was played Sunday, Chile beat Peru 3-1 in Lima to climb past Brazil and a joint second place in the table.

Brazil now have 18 points from 11 games in the qualifiers and stand third, five points behind leader Paraguay and a point behind arch-rival Argentina and Chile. Ecuador are seventh, with 13 points, while Peru remain last on just 7 points.

At an altitude of over 2,800 metres here, Julio Baptista put Brazil ahead in the score in the 72nd minute. He had come onto the pitch for a lacklustre Ronaldinho just a minute earlier, and his long-range effort hit the base of the near post before bouncing on the back of Ecuadorian keeper Jose Cevallos and finding the net.

Keeper Julio Cesar was probably the best Brazilian player of the day, but even he could do nothing to prevent the draw Sunday. Just a minute before the end of the game, another substitute, Christian Noboa, gave Ecuador a well-deserved point off a rebound from the Inter keeper.

In the first half in particular, Ecuador had several good chances to pull ahead in the score, but its strikers just missed the net or found Cesar. The keeper did well to block the ball twice in the 15th minute, and eight minutes later Ecuadorian midfielder Antonio Valencia hit the post in a long-distance effort.

Brazilian stars Robinho and Ronaldinho delivered poor performances, and an injured Kaka did not even travel to Ecuador. The host appeared to have done more to open the score, but it was the team coached by Carlos Dunga who hit first.

In the end, however, Brazil were denied their first-ever win here in South American qualifiers.

Brazil did not play well, and they are likely to have a hard time when it play the demoralised Peru Wednesday in Porto Alegre. The demanding Brazilian fans have booed their team in recent home presentations, and they have not scored a goal - and therefore not won a game - in their last three qualifiers at home.

Chile won 3-1 in Lima to kill off any chance of recovery for Peru, who remain last in the qualifiers.

Alexis Sanchez opened the score just two minutes into the game, while Humberto Suazo left things 2-0 from the spot in the 31st minute. Johan Fano put the home side back into the game just two minutes later, but Matias Fernandez sealed the Chilean triumph in the 69th minute.

Peruvian defender Juan Vargas was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 52nd minute.

Argentina thrashed Venezuela 4-0 in Buenos Aires, while Uruguay beat Paraguay 2-0 in Montevideo and Colombia also defeated Bolivia 2-0 in Bogota Saturday.

In South America’s World Cup qualifiers, each of the 10 sides plays each of the other nine teams at home and away. The top four win a place in the event. The fifth-placed team has a chance to advance through a play-off against a representative of the North, Central American and Caribbean region.

Next week, the 12th round of the qualifiers is set to start Tuesday in Puerto Ordaz, with Venezuela versus Colombia. On Wednesday, the round will end with the games Chile-Uruguay, Brazil-Peru, Bolivia-Argentina and Ecuador-Paraguay.

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