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 By Tim Vickery

Brazil through to 2018 World Cup while Uruguay and Argentina fret

In stoppage time of the last game of the round, Uruguay captain Diego Godin headed a free kick against the Peruvian bar. It came down, from the Uruguayan point of view, on the wrong side of the line. They lost 2-1, and as a result of that, Brazil became the first team to qualify for Russia 2018.

Earlier in the evening Brazil had beaten Paraguay 3-0. It was their eighth consecutive victory, all of them since coach Tite took command of a struggling side.

Paraguay did not make it easy for them in...

Recent success follows Brazil, Uruguay in World Cup qualifier

Brazil will look to continue their winning run under coach Tite, while Uruguay will try to protect their unblemished home record in 2018 World Cup qualifiers when the two teams meet on Thursday.

Tite, who was hired in June, has led Brazil to six consecutive victories and helped them claim the top spot in the CONMEBOL standings after 12 rounds.

They have outscored opponents 15-1 with Tite in charge, including a 3-0 victory away at Ecuador in his first game, a 5-0 win against Bolivia in October in...

 By Tim Vickery

The state of play in South America's World Cup qualifiers

Gab Marcotti explains why FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams has its benefits, but not everyone agrees.

There are no real prizes for coming first. Or second for that matter. World Cup qualification in South America is all about crossing the line and making it through to Russia.

The first four teams qualify automatically for next year's tournament, with the side finishing fifth having to play off against opponents from Oceania. And as the competition moves into the final third, only Brazil are really sitting pretty.

Those six consecutive wins under new coach Tite have carried Brazil to 27 points. In...

 By Tim Vickery

48-team World Cup could negatively affect South American qualifying

Gab Marcotti and Shaka Hislop join Outside the Lines and have their say at FIFA expanding the World Cup to 48 teams.
Gab Marcotti joins Outside the Lines to discuss the reasons behind moving the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in 2026.
Shaka Hislop expresses his disapproval at FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams.

On the website of CONMEBOL, the South American Confederation, there is an article entitled: "From 13 teams in Uruguay 1930 to 48 in the 2026 World Cup."

It is a neat way of reminding everyone of one of the great trump cards of the South American game: its fabulous tradition. This is the continent where the World Cup began and which has won nine versions of the tournament, divided between Brazil (five wins) and Uruguay and Argentina (two apiece).

The big three has provided Barcelona with the "MSN"...

 By Tim Vickery

Appetising matchups aplenty in round 11 of CONMEBOL qualifying

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti explains how Bolivia's forfeits for fielding an ineligible player have affected CONMEBOL standings.

Brazil versus Argentina tends to overshadow everything. But there are some other interesting attractions in Thursday's 11th round of South America's World Cup qualification campaign.

This is a round in which the top six teams meet each other -- and where all but Brazil and Uruguay could be overtaken by seventh place Paraguay, strong favourites to say a winning farewell to all-time top scorer Roque Santa Cruz when they host Peru.

The round gets off to an appetising start with the match between fourth...

Edinson Cavani thriving at Paris Saint-Germain under Unai Emery

It has not been the smoothest of starts to the Ligue 1 season for Paris Saint-Germain, but one member of the French champions' squad is thriving under new manager Unai Emery so far.

Edinson Cavani currently tops the league's scoring charts with eight goals from seven appearances, and he is one of four joint-leading scorers in the UEFA Champions League with three goals from two outings. Cavani has also scored four goals in his last four matches for Uruguay. That gives El Matador 15 goals...