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September 7, 2009

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Home » Sports » Soccer

Brazil earns spot in World Cup

BRAZIL booked a place in next year's World Cup and further threatened arch rival Argentina's chances of qualifying by winning their qualifier 3-1 on Saturday in Rosario, Argentina.

Luis Fabiano scored two goals and Luisao added another for Brazil to heap more pressure on Argentina coach Diego Maradona.

The victory in the World Cup qualifier guarantees Brazil a place in next year's 32-team tournament - as expected. The five-time champions have played in every World Cup. Six other nations had already qualified: Australia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea and the Netherlands. South Africa qualifies automatically as host.

Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano scored in the 30th and 67th after defender Luisao opened the scoring in the 24th. Napoli midfielder Jesus Datolo got Argentina's goal in the 65th.

"It's going to be tough," said Maradona, whose country has not missed a World Cup since 1970. "It will be more difficult because of today."

"Well, these things happen in football," he added. "This won't break me."

Brazil tops the South American group with 30 points followed by Chile and Paraguay (27). Argentina is hanging on in fourth place with 22 with Ecuador and Colombia (20) right behind. The top four qualify automatically. The No. 5 faces a playoff with the No. 4 team from the CONCACAF region for another berth.

In the four other matches on Saturday in South America: Peru defeated Uruguay 1-0, Colombia downed Ecuador 2-0, Chile was held 2-2 by Venezuela and Paraguay beat Bolivia 1-0.

"We're happy," Brazil coach Dunga said. "We beat a great team with great champions. (Lionel) Messi might be the best player in the world. We beat Argentina, which had not lost a match at home in qualifying."

Argentina benefited from Colombia's 2-0 victory over Ecuador. Had Ecuador won, it would have moved ahead of Argentina and pushed the Gauchos out of the top four.

Argentina had not lost a home qualifying match in 16 years.

Brazil scored two goals in barely seven minutes to leave the disorganized Argentine defense in shreds.

In Brazil's first real attack, Elano crossed for Luisao to head home.


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