Brazil continued their impressive start under new boss Tite with a 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia...
Brazil continued their impressive start under new boss Tite with a 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying on Thursday.
The Neymar-led Brazilians scored four goals in the first half -- each more delightful than the next -- to secure the former Corinthians coach his third straight qualifying victory since taking over the national team.
And it was the Barcelona superstar who opened the scoring in the 11th minute. The Brazil No. 10, with one defender back, traded passes with Gabriel Jesus before tapping into a gaping net.
Philippe Coutinho added Brazil's second 15 minutes later, sweeping into the far corner after a wonderful solo run and layoff from Giuliano.
The Selecao collected their third in the 39th minute through Filipe Luis -- Neymar playing him in on goal before the Atletico Madrid man smashed past Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Lampe at the near post.
Brazil then completed their dominating half with a dazzling counter-attack just before the break -- Gabriel Jesus lifting his left-footed shot into the roof of Lempe's net after receiving another well-weighted pass from Neymar behind the Bolivia defence.
Brazil took their foot off the gas in the second half. But substitute Roberto Firmino -- in for Neymar after the ex-Santos star's face was bloodied by a Bolivian elbow -- found a fifth a quarter-hour from time with an uncontested header in the box.
Playing without injured superstar Lionel Messi, Argentina hung on for a 2-2 draw against a very lively Peru. Ramiro Funes Mori opened things up for La Albiceleste in the 15th minute, poking home with his right foot after a goalmouth scramble.
Peru struck back in the 58th minute, however, as captain Paolo Guerrero settled a floated cross in from Miguel Trauco and blasted home past Sergio Romero to level the score. With Peru firmly on the front foot, Argentina found a moment of magic to retake the lead.
Pablo Zabaleta found Gonzalo Higuain streaking into the Peru penalty area and the Juventus striker chipped home to give his team a 2-1 advantage.
Argentina didn't hold the lead for long, though, as a turnover in their defensive end saw Guerrero have an open run at the goal, only to be brought down in the penalty area by Funes Mori. Christian Cueva converted from the spot to put the match back on even terms and help earn his team a point.
Ecuador thrashed two-time defending Copa America champions Chile 3-0.
Antonio Valencia had a goal and an assist as Ecuador returned to form and extended Chile's poor start to the campaign.
Enner Valencia sent in a cross in the 19th minute that Antonio Valencia put past Claudio Bravo for the opener. And four minutes later, Bravo missed a chance to cut out Antonio Valencia's cross, and it fell for Cristian Ramirez to score.
But it was not all good news for Ecuador as Enner Valencia left the match on a stretcher late on.
Uruguay continued their strong campaign with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of visitors Venezuelain Monteivideo.
Edinson Cavani scored a brace and Nicolas Lodeiro added another as La Celeste ascended to the top of the qualifying table with the result.
And it was Lodeiro who put the hosts on top after 29 minutes. Luis Suarez's chipped cross from the left found the diving Seattle Sounders man, who powered his header off goalkeeper Daniel Hernandez and into the net.
Cavani scored Uruguay's second moments after the break -- the PSG forward powering his left footed volley into the far corner.
And he completed the scoreline 11 minutes from time, completing a sweeping move originating down the right with an easy finish of Suarez's deft layoff from close range