SAO PAULO: Brazil and Colombia had no bother on Friday beating two of the weakest South American groups to attain their first wins within the opening spherical of World Cup qualifiers. The matches passed off with out followers on account of well being protocols from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brazil simply beat Bolivia 5-Zero in wet Sao Paulo whereas Colombia scored all of its targets in a Three-Zero victory within the first half in Barranquilla. After the primary spherical, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and Argentina lead with three factors. Peru and Paraguay have one. Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela and Bolivia have none.
All 5 matches within the second spherical can be performed on Tuesday: Peru vs. Brazil, Bolivia vs. Argentina, Chile vs. Colombia, Ecuador vs. Uruguay and Venezuela vs. Paraguay.
Neymar, experiencing again ache forward of the match and who was solely confirmed within the beginning lineup on the final minute, had two assists. He had extra bother with the pouring rain in Sao Paulo than with Bolivia’s chaotic defenders who barely touched him in the course of the match.
Defender Marquinhos opened the scoring within the 16th minute with a header. Roberto Firmino netted the primary of his two targets within the 30th minute, simply pushing the ball into an empty objective after a low cross from Renan Lodi.
Firmino made it Three-Zero within the 49th minute, assisted by Neymar, placing the ball between the legs of goalkeeper Carlos Lampe. Then 19-year-old striker Rodrygo scored his first for the nationwide workforce with a header within the 66th minute.
Philippe Coutinho ended the rout within the 73rd minute with a header, additionally assisted by Neymar. “The team took this very seriously, we were very respectful. We still need to improve teamwork. Match by match we will get it,” stated Brazil captain Casemiro.
Brazil coach Tite stated the workforce will proceed to play aggressively. Bolivia left a few of its gamers in La Paz, trying in the direction of the conflict in opposition to Argentina at altitude. The workforce is in disaster on account of a political dispute involving the nation’s soccer physique and main groups.
The match in Barranquilla was marked by a critical left-ankle harm to Colombian defender Santiago Arias after he tackled Venezuelan striker Darwin Machis within the first jiffy. Machis was initially despatched off, however video evaluate reversed the choice after it turned clear the Venezuelan had not touched Arias.
Colombia confirmed why it is without doubt one of the favorites for one of many 4 direct South American berths within the Qatar 2022 World Cup within the 16th minute when Duván Zapata calmly scored from shut vary after a low cross by Juan Cuadrado.
Ten minutes later Johan Mojica bulldozed by way of the Venezuelan protection from the left and assisted Luis Muriel so as to add a second with a cultured right-foot contact. Muriel scored the third Colombian objective in first-half stoppage time. He dribbled previous Jhon Chancellor and beat goalkeeper Wuilker Fariñez with a tough left-foot shot.
Venezuela coach José Peseiro, who was in command of the workforce for the primary time, couldn’t do a lot within the second half — he met a lot of the gamers solely days in the past. His predecessor Rafael Dudamel left the job firstly of the yr after a dispute with the nation’s soccer physique.
“Since the first minute we imposed our game and that’s why we won. lso, a good team is one that defends well. Today that was the key. Holding our lines in the back allowed us to use our talent up front,” Zapata stated.