Brazil qualify for FIFA World Cup 2022: Records broken
Brazil sealed a 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Colombia to book their place at Qatar 2022. Lucas Paqueta scored the only goal in the 72nd minute to hand Brazil a massive win. The five-time world champions have joined hosts Qatar, European sides Germany and Denmark as early qualifiers for next year's global event. Meanwhile, Chile won their third successive game, beating Paraguay 1-0.
Why does it matter?
It was a massive statement by Brazil, who are unbeaten in the FIFA WCQ - CONMEBOL. They dominated the game but had to be patient. Brazil will enter the tournament next year as one of the favorites. Talisman Neymar was impressive against Colombia, taking his goals involvement to 15. Brazil have ticked all the boxes so far and will want to end strongly.
How did the match pan out?
Colombia were hard to break down in the first half and created clearer chances than Brazil. However, Colombia failed to test Brazil keeper Alisson to highlight their struggles in front of goal. In the second half, Marquinhos fired a pass from halfway line into Neymar, whose first-time ball found Paqueta. His instant shot under pressure beat David Ospina, who made two injury-time saves.
Brazil top the show with six games to spare
After 12 matches, Brazil have collected 34 points. They have won 11 and drawn one. The South American giants have netted 27 goals (highest), besides conceding four (fewest). Neymar has been Brazil's best player in the WCQ. The Paris Saint-Germain forward has netted seven goals, besides making eight assists so far. Brazil have qualified with six games to spare.
Notable records scripted by Brazil
Brazil have now won their last 11 home games in the South American WCQ. As per Opta, this is the longest winning home run of any team in the history of the tournament. Paqueta netted his sixth goal for Brazil, with Neymar assisting three of them. Brazil have never lost a game against Colombia in 14 meetings in the South American WCQ (W6 D8).
Chile rise to fourth with a narrow win
Chile earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over hosts Paraguay with an own goal by Antony Silva in the 56th minute. With this win, Chile have rose to fourth in the table with 16 points from 13 matches (W4 D4 L5). Paraguay are eighth, suffering a third successive defeat (W2 D6 L5).
Unwanted numbers for Paraguay
As per Opta, Paraguay haven't scored in back-to-back home games in a same edition of the World Cup Qualifiers for the first time in history. Paraguay have conceded four own goals since the 2014 WCQ. This is now the highest tally of any South American team in the Qualifiers in this interval.