Brazil are the first team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Brazil beat Paraguay 3-0 on Tuesday, becoming the first team to qualify for Russia 2018 aside from the hosts themselves.
Since firing manager Dunga after the failures of Copa America, Brazil have been almost unstoppable. With new boss Tite bringing back joga bonito to Brazil’s play, they won all nine of their matches under the 55-year-old former Corinthians manager, scoring 25 goals and conceding just two in the process.
Philippe Coutinho, Neymar and Marcelo got the goals for Brazil against Paraguay, with Neymar again shining in a Brazil shirt. His incredible solo strike made it six goals since Tite took over in June, and the little Barcelona man’s been absolutely on fire for both club and country over the last few months.
With Brazil’s latest win against Paraguay, and Uruguay’s 2-1 loss to Peru, the Selecao secured their spot in Russia for the upcoming World Cup, joining the hosts as the first two teams to be confirmed.
Brazil are nine points clear at the top of CONMEBOL qualifying, with Colombia in second place. The result against Paraguay not only puts Brazil in the World Cup, it could just turn out to be an important result for Brazil’s bitter rivals Argentina, who lost away to Bolivia, and are teetering on the brink of not qualifying for Russia.
The race for automatic qualifying is as tight as ever in CONMEBOL, with Colombia barely leading Uruguay and Chile by a point, with 24 accrued after 14 matches. With just four matches left, Argentina occupy fifth place, a point behind Chile and Uruguay on 22, and two ahead of Ecuador on 22.
The next round of CONMEBOL qualifiers kick off in August, but Brazil have nothing left to play for. They’re going to Russia.