Watch World Cup Qualifier 2018 Russian Federation

Brazil head coach Tite debuted against Ecuador where they recorded 3-0 victory and have collected seven consecutive victories in World Cup qualifications since his debut.

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.

Uruguay, Argentina slip down in the qualifying round standingsPlaying without their talisman Messi who was suspended for four games, Argentina lost to Bolivia and have it all to do in the remaining four matches of the qualifying round.

Argentina's Lionel Messi leaves the pitch after a 2018 Russia World Cup qualifying soccer match between Argentina and Chile at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday March 23, 2017.

Argentina is holding onto the fifth spot, wavering at the loss of forward Lionel Messi, who became hot tempered to an assistant referee and cost him four worldwide matches.

Philippe Coutinho, Neymar and Marcelo got the goals for Brazil against Paraguay, with Neymar again shining in a Brazil shirt.

Argentina had been rocked just hours before kick-off after confirmation Messi had been hit with a four-match ban following a ruling from disciplinary chiefs at world governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association in Zurich. The achievement in Sao Paulo might just be about getting the team to the World Cup - the minimum requirement as far as Brazil is concerned - with winning the title the ultimate goal.

James Rodriguez scored one and set up another as Colombia secured a valuable 2-0 World Cup qualifying win away to 10-man Ecuador on Tuesday. "I will have a caipirinha this big", the coach said, showing with his hands that he wanted an extra-large drink. In 13 matches "pentakampeony" scored nine wins, three games ended in a draw and only one lost.

Tite's side, trotting out in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Coutinho's club mate Roberto Firmino playing as the lone striker with talisman Neymar in support, continued to press for a second but half-time approached with the hosts holding a slender lead. "Adversaries better watch out because
Brazil is coming with it all".

With Brazil nearly sure to advance - and Venezuela, Bolivia and Peru struggling at the bottom - that leaves six teams fighting for the three remaining automatic spots for Russian Federation.

  • Julie Sanders