Brazil go top, Argentina stunned in qualifiers

TOP OF THE TABLE: Brazil's Willian (19) scored in the second half following Manchester City teenager Jesus' eighth-minute contribution. The country's fine progress in qualifying so far will boost them ahead of a tie against Argentina.


    Oct 13, 2016

    Brazil go top, Argentina stunned in qualifiers


    BRAZIL powered to the top of the table in South America's 2018 World Cup qualifying race on Tuesday with a victory over Venezuela.

    But Argentina suffered a defeat at home to Paraguay.

    Goals from Manchester City teenager Gabriel Jesus and Chelsea's Willian secured a 2-0 win over Venezuela in a match interrupted by a lengthy floodlight failure that plunged Merida's Estadio Metropolitano into darkness.

    The victory was Brazil's fourth consecutive win of the qualifying campaign and left the five-time world champions on top of the standings with 21 points after 10 games.

    It is the first time since qualifying began that Brazil have led the standings.

    They look firmly on course to maintain their record of never having failed to qualify for a World Cup.

    The acid test of Brazil's renaissance is likely to come next month when they play old rivals Argentina, who stumbled to a 1-0 defeat in Cordoba.

    A superb counter-attacking goal from striker Derlis Gonzalez on 18 minutes was enough to give the visitors all three points, as the hosts once again struggled to cope with the absence of Lionel Messi.

    The win left Paraguay just one point behind Argentina in the standings after 10 games.

    Argentina occupy the fifth qualifying spot in the table with 16 points.