Thursday 27 April 2017

Brazil become first team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup with convincing win over Paraguay

Brazil 3-0 Paraguay

Brazil forward Neymar celebrates after scoring against Paraguay during their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match in Sao Paulo. / AFP PHOTO / Miguel SCHINCARIOLMIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP/Getty Images
Brazil forward Neymar celebrates after scoring against Paraguay during their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match in Sao Paulo. / AFP PHOTO / Miguel SCHINCARIOLMIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil continued their march towards next year's World Cup in Russia with a dominant 3-0 win over Paraguay.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho curled in a low opener and Neymar capped an eventful evening with a goal in the second half before Marcelo added a late third.

Barcelona forward Neymar, captaining the side, missed a penalty and saw an effort chalked off for off-side on an evening when he was routinely on the end of rough treatment from the Paraguay defenders.

Their 10th win of the qualifying campaign, along with defeats for Argentina and Uruguay, means Brazil cannot finish lower than fourth in South American qualifying.

Brazil coach Tite was conducting his post-match press conference when news filtered through that Uruguay had lost to Peru, ensuring Brazil became the first side to successfully negotiate qualifying for Russia 2018.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho curled in a low opener and Neymar capped an eventful evening with a goal in the second half before Marcelo added a late third in Sao Paolo.

"My greatest joy is sharing joy," Tite said in quotes reported by espn.com.br.

"When you look at the face of your family, when you see the players happy, when you see a happy little child, sharing joy is my greatest satisfaction. More pleasure."

Barcelona forward Neymar, captaining the side, missed a penalty and saw an effort chalked off for offside on an evening when he was routinely on the end of rough treatment from the Paraguay defenders.

"I always think of overcoming my limits, first of all I want to help my team, always, and then I think about pushing the limits, reaching the marks of games and goals," Neymar said after scoring his 52nd international goal.

"I am very happy for this moment, not only mine, but also my team-mates'.

"We are achieving our goals, which is to win and reach the World Cup as well."

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