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Jun 9, 2012

Top spot for Chile

Chile moved into first place in the South American World Cup qualifying group courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Venezuela in Puerto la Cruz.

The two-goal margin flattered La Roja in what was an evenly-match contest for most of the 90 minutes. The sides were locked in a goalless stalemate until the 85th minute when Sporting Lisbon's Matias Fernandez put the hosts in front.

In injury-time Charles Aranguiz added the second following good work from Sebastian Pinto. Chile skipper Claudio Bravo said: "We are doing things well and that is why we are leading but we haven't won anything yet. Fernandez was fantastic and did a great job even when the match was very hard for us.

Venezuela coach Cesar Farias was gracious in defeat. "Chile deserved the victory,'' he said. "They took advantage of every situation they had and we didn't.''

Chile top the standings with 12 points, two more than Argentina, who have played one game fewer.

Meanwhile in La Paz, Bolivia recorded their first victory of the qualifiers as they beat Paraguay 3-1. Alcides Pena opened the scoring for Bolivia only 10 minutes into the game, with Pablo Daniel Escobar hitting a second-half brace for the hosts. Cristian Riveros hit a late consolation for Paraguay.

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