Nepal | November 26, 2020

Brazil, Colombia outclass rivals, lead World Cup qualifiers

Associated Press
Share Now:

SAO PAULO: Brazil and Colombia had no trouble on Friday beating two of the weakest South American teams to score their first wins in the opening round of World Cup qualifiers. The matches took place without fans due to health protocols from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brazil’s Roberto Firmino, right, fights for the ball with Bolivia’s Gabriel Valverde during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the Neo Quimica arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Friday, October 9, 2020. Photo: Buda Mendes/Pool via AP

Brazil easily beat Bolivia 5-0 in rainy Sao Paulo while Colombia scored all of its goals in a 3-0 victory in the first half in Barranquilla.

After the first round, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and Argentina lead with three points. Peru and Paraguay have one. Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela and Bolivia have none.

All five matches in the second round will be played on Tuesday: Peru vs. Brazil, Bolivia vs. Argentina, Chile vs. Colombia, Ecuador vs. Uruguay and Venezuela vs. Paraguay.

BRAZIL

Neymar, experiencing back pain ahead of the match and who was only confirmed in the starting lineup at the last minute, had two assists. He had more trouble with the pouring rain in Sao Paulo than with Bolivia’s chaotic defenders who barely touched him during the match.

Defender Marquinhos opened the scoring in the 16th minute with a header. Roberto Firmino netted the first of his two goals in the 30th minute, just pushing the ball into an empty goal after a low cross from Renan Lodi.

Firmino made it 3-0 in the 49th minute, assisted by Neymar, putting the ball between the legs of goalkeeper Carlos Lampe. Then 19-year-old striker Rodrygo scored his first for the national team with a header in the 66th minute.

Philippe Coutinho ended the rout in the 73rd minute with a header, also assisted by Neymar.

“The team took this very seriously, we were very respectful,” said Brazil captain Casemiro. “We still need to improve teamwork. Match by match we will get it.”

Brazil coach Tite said the team will continue to play aggressively.

Bolivia left some of its players in La Paz, looking towards the clash against Argentina at altitude. The team is in crisis due to a political dispute involving the country’s soccer body and major teams.

COLOMBIA

The match in Barranquilla was marked by a serious left-ankle injury to Colombian defender Santiago Arias after he tackled Venezuelan striker Darwin Machis in the first few minutes.

Machis was initially sent off, but video review reversed the decision after it became clear the Venezuelan had not touched Arias.

Colombia showed why it is one of the favorites for one of the four direct South American berths in the Qatar 2022 World Cup in the 16th minute when Duván Zapata calmly scored from close range after a low cross by Juan Cuadrado.

Ten minutes later Johan Mojica bulldozed through the Venezuelan defense from the left and assisted Luis Muriel to add a second with a classy right-foot touch.

Muriel scored the third Colombian goal in first-half stoppage time. He dribbled past Jhon Chancellor and beat goalkeeper Wuilker Fariñez with a hard left-foot shot.

Venezuela coach José Peseiro, who was in charge of the team for the first time, could not do much in the second half — he met most of the players only days ago. His predecessor Rafael Dudamel left the job at the beginning of the year after a dispute with the country’s soccer body.

“Since the first minute we imposed our game and that’s why we won,” Zapata said. “Also, a good team is one that defends well. Today that was the key. Holding our lines in the back allowed us to use our talent up front.”

 


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Youthful Barca take care of Dynamo to seal knockout place

KYIV: An inexperienced Barcelona side missing Lionel Messi eventually cruised to a 4-0 win away to Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday to reach the Champions League knockout stages for the 17th consecutive season and continue their 100% start in the competition. After a sluggish first half, the Cata Read More...

Juventus move into last 16 with 2-1 win over Ferencvaros

TURIN: Juventus progressed to the Champions League last 16 after a Cristiano Ronaldo goal and a late header from substitute Alvaro Morata gave them a comeback 2-1 home win over Hungarians Ferencvaros on Tuesday. With two games remaining, the result left Juve second in Group G on nine poin Read More...

Corruption cases up by 58 per cent

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 24 Transparency International, in a report released today, has said that corruption in the country has increased by 58 per cent in the past one year. The report, ‘Global Corruption Barometer - Asia 2020’ revealed this on the basis of a public opinion survey conducted am Read More...

New guidelines for welfare of differently-abled, senior citizens

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 24 The Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens has developed ‘Guidelines on Implementation of Conditional Grants for Differently-abled Persons and Senior Citizens in Provinces’ for distribution of assistive devices to differently-abled persons, their rehabilitation Read More...

MoFAGA

Committees told to prepare annual disaster report

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 24 The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has urged all local levels to prepare their annual disaster report and submit the same to the concerned agency as soon as possible. In response to a letter of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management A Read More...

Oli accused of undermining Parliament

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 24 Nepali Congress lawmaker in the National Assembly Radhe Shyam Adhikari has accused the KP Sharma Oli-led government of undermining the Parliament by not calling its winter session and issuing ordinances one after another. The government recently issued two ordinances to fac Read More...

Police staying in dilapidated house

BAJHANG, NOVEMBER 24 As many as 11 security personnel have been staying in a damaged house putting their lives at risk in Bajhang. The police personnel staying in the dilapidated house have been deployed for security of Debal Airport. The house has big holes forcing the security personn Read More...

Schools reopen amid coronavirus scare

DHADING, NOVEMBER 24 Most of the schools that were closed well before the beginning of the new academic session in Dhading have resumed classes. Keeping in view of the protracted shutdown and its effect on the education calendar, all 13 local levels in the district allowed schools to reope Read More...