Brazil become first country to qualify for 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation

Brazil have become the first team to qualify for next year's World Cup after the five-times champions beat Paraguay 3-0 for their eighth successive win in the South American qualifying competition.

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.

Brazil are back in qualifying action against Ecuador in the same month.

"If people want a flawless coach, they should look elsewhere, because at some point I'm going to make a mistake", he said.

Brazil beat Paraguay with goals from Coutinho, Neymar and Marcelo to qualify for the World Cup in Russian Federation.

La Paz's Estadio Hernando Siles is situated 3,600m above sea level, and was the scene of an infamous 1-6 Argentina loss in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, while during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, they were held to a 1-1 draw.

Argentina had been rocked just hours before kick-off after confirmation that Barcelona superstar Messi had been hit with a four-match ban for swearing at an official in last week's 1-0 win over Chile.

Paris Saint-Germain's Cavani struck from the spot against Brazil to save his country's blushes, but the Ligue 1 top scorer (27 goals) failed to find the target as the Celeste fell in Lima.

"What a difference a coach makes".

Bolivia, desperate for three points, tore into Argentina from the opening whistle, spending long periods camped around their opponents' area.

Paulinho then volleyed wide as the hosts took control in the second half before Neymar missed Coutinho's cross to waste a golden opportunity.

It's been an unconvincing qualifying campaign for Argentina so far, and they dare not slip up against Bolivia given that there are just five points between the teams sat in second and seventh spots in the group.

Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates after his team beat Ecuador 2-0 during a 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match at the Atahualpa Olympic Stadium in Quito, Ecuador, Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

Paraguay impressed defensively and in attack, refusing to allow Brazil time on the ball and the visitors should have taken the lead seven minutes later when Gonzalez moved through on goal after some sloppy play from Miranda but the Dynamo Kiev forward scuffed his shot.

  • Julie Sanders