Road to Qatar: Neymar rescues Brazil in Lima, Argentina avoids 'drowning' in La Paz

Brazil and Argentina both went behind in the first half on the road but rallied to beat Peru and Bolivia, respectively, and take the lead in South America's marathon World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign.

Neymar scored a hat trick to lead Brazil past Peru, 4-2, in Lima. Peru led twice before Everton's Richarlison  tied the score in the 64th minute. Neymar's two late goals were sandwiched around a pair of Peru red cards.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni had compared playing Bolivia to "drowning" because of the difficulty players have breathing in La Paz, the highest capital city at almost 12,000 feet above sea level.

Argentina got a break shortly before halftime when an attempted clearance deflected off Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez into the Bolivian goal for the equalizer, and it went ahead on Lazio's Joaquin Correa on left-footed shot in the 79th minute. The 2-1 win was Argentina's first away win over Bolivia since 2005.

COVID positive. Seattle Sounders star Raul Ruidiaz could miss the rest of the MLS regular season after testing positive for COVID-19 after Peru's return home from its match in Paraguay. Ruidiaz has nine goals in 13 games for the Sounders in 2019 and 30 in 49 games after arriving following the 2018 World Cup.

Peruvian teammate Alex Valera also tested positive for COVID-19 and also missed the Brazil game in Lima.  Peru has the highest rate of COVID-related deaths per capita of any country in the world except tiny San Marino with more than 33,000 deaths.

MLS connection. Chicago Fire midfielder Gaston Gimenez scored the late winner for Paraguay in its 1-0 win at Venezuela on Tuesday. He debuted for Paraguay in its 2-2 draw for days earlier after making a one-time switch. He previously appeared in a friendly for Argentina.

Former Atlanta United star Miguel Almiron also started in midfield for Paraguay. New York Red Bulls forward Kaku, another Argentine who switched national team allegiances, was on the Paraguay bench.

-- Virginia-born Antonio Bustamante played his first two games for Bolivia. He attended William & Mary and spent the 2019 season on the D.C. United roster on a Homegrown contract and played for Loudoun United in the USL Championship.

World Cup 2022 qualifying (South America):
Thursday, October 8
Paraguay 2 (Romero 66, 81) Peru 2 (Carrillo 52, 85).
Uruguay 2 (Suarez pen. 39, Gomez 90+3) Chile 1 (Sanchez 54).
Friday, October 9
Argentina 1 (Messi 13 pen.) Ecuador 0.
Colombia 3 (Zapata 16, Muriel 26, Muriel 45+3) Venezuela 0.
Brazil 5 (Marquinhos 16, Firmino 30, 49, own goal 66, Coutinho 73) Bolivia 0.
Tuesday, October 13
Bolivia 1 (Martins 24) Argentina 2 (Martínez 45, Correa 79).
Ecuador 4 (Caicedo 15, Estrada 45+4, 52, Plata 75) Uruguay 2 (Suarez 84 pen., 90+5 pen.).
Venezuela 0 Paraguay 1 (Gimenez 85).
Peru 2 (Carrillo 6, Tapia 59) Brazil 4 (Neymar 28 pen., Neymar 83 pen., Neymar 90+4, Richarlison 64).
Chile 2 (Vidal 38 pen., Sanchez 41) Colombia 2 (Lerma 7, Falcao 90+1).
Standings: Brazil, Argentina 6 points; Colombia, Paraguay 4; Ecuador, Uruguay 3; Chile, Peru 1; Venezuela, Bolivia 0.

1 comment about "Road to Qatar: Neymar rescues Brazil in Lima, Argentina avoids 'drowning' in La Paz".
  1. Santiago 1314, October 16, 2020 at 6:36 a.m.

    Kind of Sad to see that Bolivia has Sunk so far, that they are using USL players... Ahhh, for the Days of Tahuichi.!!!

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