Brazil became the first team to qualify for the World Cup on Tuesday after beating Paraguay to clinch an eighth consecutive victory as Argentina’s campaign stumbled after the shock suspension of Lionel Messi.
Five-time champions Brazil had been left waiting in suspense after goals fromNeymar,Philippe Coutinho and Marcelo handed them a 3-0 win over the Paraguayans atSao Paulo’sArena Corinthians.
But Uruguay’s upset 2-1 defeat toPeruin the day’s final South American qualifier combined with other results meant Brazil are mathematically guaranteed a place at next year’s finals in Russia.
The qualification completes an astonishing turnaround for Brazil, who less than a year ago were in crisis after taking only nine points from six games.
That run of results had left the Brazilians outside the qualifying places in sixth place.