Rio de Janeiro: Brazil have jumped to the top of the South American zone (CONMEBOL) World Cup qualifying standings following a 2-0 away victory over Venezuela.
Manchester City-bound striker Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring at Estadio Metropolitano in Merida on Tuesday by chipping over goalkeeper Hernandez Santos after some poor defending byVenezuela in the eighth minute, reports Xinhua.
Chelsea’s Willian made it 2-0 just after halftime with a slick first-time finish following a Renato Augusto cross.
Venezuela had few chances on goal and their only respite came when a power outage stopped the match for 25 minutes in the second half.
Brazil now have four wins from as many matches under coach Tite, who replaced Dunga after the team’s group-stage elimination from the Copa America in June.
During that time they have risen from sixth in the standings to first with 21 points from 10 matches. Uruguay are second with 20 points while Ecuador and Colombia are third and fourth respectively with 17 points apiece.
Earlier on Tuesday, Luis Suarez struck his third goal in six matches as Uruguay held Colombia to a 2-2 draw in the Atlantic port city of Barranquilla.
Abel Aguilar gave Colombia the lead in the 15th minute when he headed in Luis Muriel’s cross before Christian Rodriguez also nodden in a goal for the visitors.
Suarez then gave Uruguay the lead by beating his marker and firing in from a difficult angle. But Yerry Mina salvaged a point for the hosts when he headed in a Juan Cuadrado cross at the far post.
Everton forward Enner Valencia scored twice as 10-man Ecuador recovered from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw with Bolivia in La Paz.
Pablo Escobar struck both goals for Bolivia as the hosts dominated the first half at Estadio Hernando Siles, more than 3,600 meters above sea level.
Despite Valencia pulling a goal back early in the second half, the game looked over when Ecuador’s Luis Caicedo was shown a second yellow card for a bad foul in the 79th minute. But Valencia sent the home crowd into stunned silence by firing in an 89th minute equalizer.
In Cordoba, a first-half goal from Dynamo Kyiv forward Derlis Gonzalez fired Paraguay to a 1-0 victory over Argentina.
In Tuesday’s only other match, Arturo Vidal scored twice as Chile overcame Peru 2-1 in Santiago.