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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep, 6, 2009

Mexico sitting pretty after Dos Santos sparkles

A brace by Luis Fabiano helped Brazil become the first South American team to book a berth in the 2010 World Cup Finals after a convincing 3-1 away win over arch rivals Argentina.

Unmarked Luisao opened the scoring in the 24th minute and Sevilla striker Fabiano widened the gap six minutes later, as he captured a lost ball after Argentina goalkeeper Mariano Andujar failed to save a Maicon shot.

Jesus Datolo reduced the deficit 20 minutes into the second half with a left-foot shot from distance, but Fabiano secured the victory by finishing a counter-attack two minutes later.

Brazil, who reached the 30-point mark, became the seventh team to secure a World Cup spot, alongside hosts South Africa, Holland, North Korea, South Korea, Australia and Japan.

Brazil coach Dunga said: "Argentina used their skills, their talent, but Brazil were focused and paid attention. We knew to play with speed in the right moments."

Chile remain second in the World Cup qualifying standings on 27 points although only goal difference keeps them above Paraguay.

Marcelo Bielsa's Chile only gained a 2-2 draw in their home match against Venezuela. Arturo Vidal put Chile ahead early in the 10th minute with a header after a Matias Fernandez corner.

Even though Giancarlo Maldonado equalised at the 34th and Jose Manuel Rey gave the Vinotinto the lead nine minutes later, Rodrigo Millar came off the bench to level the match at the Estadio Monumental in Santiago.

In Asuncion, a penalty by Salvador Cabanas late in the first half gave Paraguay a 1-0 win over Bolivia.

Carlos Bonet was fouled inside the box and Salvador Cabanas shot close to the left post to Bolivia keeper Hugo Suarez in the last minute of the first half.

Paraguay stay third while the Bolivians remain ninth on 12 points.

They have very little chance to advance to the play-off with a CONCACAF nation, as they lie eight points behind fifth-placed Colombia with three matches to go.

Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino was very happy after the victory, saying: "I think we have made a very important step in a very difficult moment for us, as we had not won any game this year and our last home game was a defeat. We need the last step.

"All the points we may collect from now on will help us make our goal come true."

In Medellin, late goals in the second half helped Colombia beat 10-man Ecuador 2-0 to climb to the play-off position.

The Cafeteros needed 81 minutes to take the lead thanks to Jackson Martinez, while Teofilo Gutierrez widened the gap in added time as Eduardo Lara's team reached fifth in the table.

Minutes before half-time, Colombia midfielder Fabian Vargas, who plays for Spanish side Almeria, broke his left ankle after colliding with Ecuador forward Pablo Palacios. Palacios was then sent off three minutes into the second half for simulation.

Already-eliminated Peru claimed a surprise 1-0 win over Uruguay in Lima, with Hernan Rengifo scoring the winner with his right foot with five minutes to go.

Peru, though, are still bottom of the standings and have no chance of reaching the finals.

Uruguay went down from fifth to seventh and their boss Oscar Tabarez was very unhappy with the result.

"Tension and nerves for winning the game made us make big mistakes. They make the players feel tired in the second half and we didn't play the match the way we expected," he said.

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