Coutinho stars in Brazil win
Philippe Coutinho produced a scintillating display in second-half to help Brazil register a 2-0 win over Ecuador and guarantee top spot in South America's 2018 World Cup qualifying race. The Liverpool star shrugged off his transfer disappointment with a goal, while Barcelona's new signing Paulinho scored the second. This was Brazil's ninth consecutive qualifying victory which give them 11-point cushion with three games remaining.
The race for the remaining automatic qualifying spots from South America is headed down to the wire. Only two points separate second-placed Colombia and fifth-placed Argentina. Even Paraguay managed to get into the race with a stunning 3-0 win over Chile. The defeat capped off a miserable night for Alexis Sanchez, who had hopes of moving to a new club on deadline day.
Argentina were held to a frustrating goaless draw by Uruguay in Montevideo. While Lionel Messi and co were the dominating side in the first half, the second half was filled with poor performances, littered with fouls on both sides. Even Luis Suarez's return from injury could not invigorate Uruguay's attack. Meanwhile, Suarez and Messi joined hands in a show of solidarity before the match.