Paulinho hat-trick as Brazil thrash Uruguay

Paulinho scored an unlikely hat-trick and Neymar starred as Brazil extended their winning run and lead atop the World Cup qualifying standings with a 4-1 victory over Uruguay.

Former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho scored an unexpected hat-trick, with Barcelona star Neymar adding another as Brazil rallied from conceding an early penalty, scored by Edinson Cavani.

Peru are now eighth in the 10-team South American zone standings, six points adrift of the automatic qualification places.

Matchday 13 of the South American qualifying competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ saw Brazil pull further clear at the top and the six teams below them bunch even closer together. Felipe Caicedo replied for the visitors from the spot as they slipped to fifth, the first time they have been out of the direct qualification places since last September. The Goal Keeper Fernando Muslera is missing in this game for Uruguay.

Lionel Messi converted a penalty as Argentina defeated defending Copa America champions Chile 1-0 in Buenos Aires.

Goalkeeper Martin Silva could only parry Roberto Firmino's shot from the edge of the box and Paulinho was on hand to knock the rebound home from six yards. Brazil now tops the standings with 27 points after 12 games.

"The job is not to play their game, but to play ours, to keep our head and be able to win".

Neymar then scored in the 75th minute to make the game safe before Paulinho chested home in injury time to complete a deserved win.

Back in August, Brazil was in sixth place in the South American World Cup Qualifiers - not good enough to qualify. "What matters is that we won", the coach said.

Ecuador and Chile have 20 points each and Argentina has 19, followed by Colombia with 18, Paraguay with 15 and Peru with 14.

The last-placed hosts led 2-0 at half time, but goals from André Carrillo and Paolo Guerrero earned Peru a point.

Reports in Argentine media said Dybala was likely to miss the clash with Chile at the Monumental Stadium but could still be available for the duel against Bolivia in La Paz next Tuesday. Ecuador. And Colombia squeaked by in Barranquilla over Bolivia, thanks to James Rodriguez's 83rd minute goal.

  • Julie Sanders