Argentina, Uruguay sails as Brazil struggles in 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

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Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia continued their march toward the 2026 FIFA World Cup while struggling giant Brazil hit a new low in the South American qualifying group on Tuesday.

In the final qualifier of the South American zone’s sixth matchday, Jefferson Savarino scored a second-half equalizer to earn Venezuela a 1-1 away draw with Peru.

Veteran midfielder Yoshimar Yotun gave the hosts the lead at Lima’s national stadium when he met Joao Grimaldo’s cross with a bullet header.

Savarino equalized with a lunging first-time effort after a Darwin Machis cut-back from the right byline.
Venezuela is now fourth in the group with nine points from six qualifiers, six points behind leader Argentina. Peru is last in the 10-team standings with two points.

Earlier, Nicolas Otamendi struck with a second-half header as Argentina inflicted Brazil’s first ever home defeat in a World Cup qualifier with a 1-0 victory in Rio de Janeiro.

The Benfica defender broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute at the Maracana stadium when he rose highest to meet Giovani Lo Celso’s delivery from a corner with a powerful header into the top-left corner.

The result marked Brazil’s third straight defeat and its first loss in 65 home World Cup qualifiers as pressure mounts on manager Fernando Diniz, who was appointed in July.

In Montevideo, Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez scored twice to fire Uruguay to a 3-0 home victory over Bolivia.

Nunez put his side ahead at Estadio Centenario by volleying into the far corner after Facundo Pellistri’s cross, and the hosts were gifted a second goal when Gabriel Villamil inadvertently turned the ball into his own net.

Nunez made it 3-0 with a close-range header following Nicolas de la Cruz’s headed pass.

The result marked Uruguay’s third straight victory and leaves Marcelo Bielsa’s men with 13 points from six matches. Bolivia has three points, having registered one win and five losses so far.

In Asuncion, Colombia continued its strong start to the qualifying campaign after a first-half penalty from Rafael Santos Borre secured a 1-0 away win over Paraguay.

In Quito, Angel Mena’s first-half goal fired Ecuador to a 1-0 victory over Chile.

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