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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Oct, 16, 2008

CONMEBOL: Argentina lose, Brazil booed off

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Argentina were outplayed and beaten 1-0 by a Chilean team led by their former coach Marcelo Bielsa in the World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday while Brazil continued their astonishing run of goalless draws at home.

Dunga's team, held 0-0 by Bolivia last month and Argentina in June, this time played out a dismal stalemate with Colombia as the Maracana crowd jeered the team, insulted the coach and then left early in what has become a sad ritual.

Paraguay moved further ahead at the top of the 10-team South American group with a late 1-0 win over bottom side Peru and Venezuela kept their faint hopes of a first World Cup appearance alive by coming from behind to beat Ecuador 3-1.

Paraguay, who have won seven of their 10 matches, have 23 points, six clear of Brazil.

Argentina are third with 16 points and only six separate them from eighth-placed Venezuela, with Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador and Colombia sandwiched in between.

The top four qualify directly for a place at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa and the fifth plays off against a side from the North and Central American CONCACAF region for another place.

Argentina and Brazil, who both won at the weekend, continued their inconsistent campaigns.

Argentina, missing mercurial playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme through suspension, never found an answer to a lively, creative Chile team led by their former mentor Bielsa, whose six year stint in charge included the 2002 World Cup.

Fabian Orellana turned in the winner in the 36th minute in Santiago following a sweeping move to move Chile level on 16 points with their opponents and give them their first win over their neighbours for 35 years.

"I have never seen a performance like this from Chile, it was amazing how much running they did, they were like a machine and pressed us in every part of the pitch and didn't let us settle," said Argentina coach Alfio Basile.

"It seemed like there were 15 of them against 11 of us. We thought they would get tired in the second half but they kept going very well."

In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil struggled to muster a chance against a resolute but negative Colombia team, who completed their fifth qualifier without scoring and have managed a total of only four goals.

Kaka blamed their lethargy on the 15-hour journey home from Venezuela following their 4-0 win over Sunday.

"I don't like to make excuses, but the journey took its toll," he said.

Substitute Edgar Benitez, called into the squad as a replacement for the injured Roque Santa Cruz, scored an 82nd minute winner in Asuncion to keep Paraguay on course for a fourth successive World Cup.

In Puerto La Cruz, Ecuador got the perfect start with Isaac Mina headed them in front after 10 minutes.

Venezuela, however, hit back as Giancarlo Maldonado, Alejandro Moreno and Juan Arango scored in a 25-minute spell after the break, giving them their first win in six qualifiers under Cesar Farias.

The defeat left Ecuador in sixth place on 12 points.

"I'm to blame but the dream of going to the World Cup is still intact," said Ecuador coach Sixto Vizuete.

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