Brazil close in on qualification for Russia 2018

Brazil become the first country to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation on Wednesday, as the Selecao demolish Paraguay 3-0 even with four games left in the qualifying series.

Brazil beat Paraguay with goals from Coutinho, Neymar and Marcelo to qualify for the World Cup in Russian Federation.

With four games remaining in South American qualifying, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile occupy the remaining three guaranteed World Cup spots.

Liverpool head into the derby in fourth place, four points clear of Manchester United in fifth and six ahead of Arsenal, although both of those sides have two games in hand.

The five-times champions beat Paraguay 3-0 on Tuesday for their eighth successive win in the South American qualifying competition.

Neymar was in the thick of the action again moments later after winning a contentious penalty but his spot-kick was easily saved by Silva.

Neymar, part of the side who won Olympic gold at Rio 2016, said: "I always think of overcoming my limits".

The victory continues the Selecao's unbeaten run under coach Tite, who replaced Dunga after the team's group-stage elimination from the Copa America last June.

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'The way we are playing is being watched all over the world, ' he said.

Brazil were made to wait until the 35 minute as Liverpool midfielder Phillipe Coutinho opened the scoring for the hosts as he exchanged a series of passes with Paulinho and drilled the shot at the bottom corner of the Paraguayan. Argentina's Lucas Pratto sits on the pitch during a 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer soccer match against Bolivia in La Paz, Bolivia, on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

Coutinho scored from outside the box to give Brazil the lead in the 34th minute.

It is hard to imagine that, mere nine months ago, pundits were discussing the possibility of Brazil not qualifying for the World Cup.

The latest of those victories came on Thursday, when Brazil shrugged off an early Edinson Cavani goal to destroy Uruguay 4-1 in Montevideo.

Their defenders are solid at the back, and goal-machines like Neymar are finding the back of the net easily.

Subsequently, Neymar added the second goal for the home side in the 64th minute after missing a second-half penalty, reported.

  • Tabitha Byrd