[WORLD CUP 2010 QUALIFYING]
Wins for the top three teams -- Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina -- meant there was little change in the South American qualifying
group. Both Ecuador and Bolivia moved up thanks to home victories. Salvador Cabanas
' early strike from 30 yards out was enough to give
Paraguay victory in Colombia and keep it well ahead of the chasing pack. If it takes another three points from its home game against bottom-placed Peru coming up on Wednesday, the Paraguayan FA
should begin to make hotel reservations for South Africa 2010.
New Colombia coach Eduardo Lara
made a lot of changes to the side of his
predecessor, but despite plenty of possession it still could not improve on its abysmal goal scoring record, which now stands at just four goals in nine games. The short-term prospects are not good
for Colombia -- on Wednesday it travels to Brazil.
Argentina ended its frustrating run of four successive draws in qualifying play by edging Uruguay 2-1 in Buenos Aires on goals
from Leo Messi
and Sergio Aguero
. But the team will be without Juan Roman
and Carlos Tevez
against Chile on Wednesday when they serve yellow-card suspensions. Coach Alfio Basile
also claimed that Aguero, midfielder Javier Mascherano
and defender Martin Demichelis
were all injury doubts for the
game as well. "We're expecting a very tough match against Chile," warned Basile.
Brazil made short work of Venezuela by going 3-0 up in the first 20 minutes. Kaka
, who'd been told by his coach Dunga
to "be yourself," scored just six minutes into his first international
game for almost a year. A brace from Robinho
, including a 30-yard shot, and Adriano
's first international goal
since the last World Cup rounded off the 4-0 rout, which leaves Venezuela equal on points with last-place Peru. The home team did have its chances, but Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar
was in superb form when called to action.
Bolivia moved off the group's bottom spot and up two places to give itself a glimmer of hope with a 3-0 home
win over Peru on two headers from Joaquin Botero
and a fine long distance shot in the second half from Ronald Garcia
Former MLS midfielder Joselito Vaca
created two goals for Bolivia, which hosts Uruguay Tuesday, when it needs another win to haul itself within distance of a qualifying spot.
There was an ugly game in the rain in Quito, where Ecuador topped Chile on a sole second-half goal from Santos Laguna striker Christian Benitez
had Ismail Fuentes
sent off after just 19 minutes, and lost Gonzalo Jara
to his second yellow card of the game seven
minutes from time. Ecuador, meanwhile, had Luis Valencia
ordered off in the second half for a studs-up tackle. The win moved Ecuador up to sixth place, level
on points with Uruguay and just one point behind Chile. RESULTS Saturday October 11
(Botero 2, Garcia) Peru 0
Argentina 2 (Messi, Aguero) Uruguay 1 (Lugano)
Colombia 0 Paraguay 1 (Cabanas) Sunday October 12
0 Brazil 4 (Adriano, Kaka, Robinho 2)
Ecuador 1 (Benitez) Chile 0 ROUND 10 Tuesday October
Bolivia vs Uruguay (4 pm) Wednesday October 15
Paraguay vs Peru (5:10 pm)
Chile vs Argentina (8:15 pm)
Ecuador (9 pm)
Brazil vs Colombia (9 pm) STANDINGS (after 10 of 18 games):
1. Paraguay (20 points) 2. Brazil (16) 3. Argentina (16) 4.
Chile (13) 5. Uruguay (12) 6. Ecuador (12) 7. Colombia (10) 8. Bolivia (8) 9.Venezuela (7) 10. Peru (7) Format:
Top four teams qualify
automatically for South Africa 2010. Fifth-placed team plays off in a home-and-away series with the fourth-placed team in the Concacaf final round qualifying group.