Brazil leave Argentina in precarious situation
Argentina 1 Brazil 3:Brazil became the first South American nation to make it to the World Cup finals as they defeated old enemies Argentina 3-1 in the South American – League Group in Rosario.
A brace by Luis Fabiano after a Luisao header opened the scoring helped the five-time world champions book their tickets to travel for South Africa next year.
It confirmed Brazil’s qualification but leaves Argentina in fourth just two points ahead off the play-off places.
Argentina started attacking Brazil from the start, Lionel Messi going wide with a left-footed shot in the 13th minute to rouse the home crowd.
However, it was the visitors who took the lead 11 minutes later when Luisao headed home a Kaka free-kick past the Albicelestes goalkeeper Mariano Andujar.
The goal came from their first foray into the Argentina box and the shocked hosts almost pulled level two minutes later but Maximiliano Rodriguez failed to deflect Juan Sebastian Veron’s free-kick.
Instead, Brazil doubled their lead after half an hour.
Maicon shot from Kaka’s cross which Andujar saved the ball but the keeper failed to hold on to the ball and Sevilla striker Fabiano pounced on the rebound to slot home.
Argentina almost reduced the deficit seven minutes later when Rodriguez unleashed a shot following Carlos Tevez’s right-wing cross but Brazil keeper Julio Cesar was equal to it.
Argentina were then grateful to Andujar when he blocked Lucio’s header just before half-time, the goalkeeper proving to be the pick of the home players in the first half.
Sergio Aguero replaced Rodriguez but the hosts were still having little joy despite enjoying more pressure.
However, they halved the deficit after 65 minutes when Napoli midfielder Jesus Datolo finally beat Cesar with a shot from outside the box
The hosts’ optimism was short-lived though as Fabiano scored a second by finishing off a counter-attack.
Diego Milito, who replaced Tevez, could have given Argentina some hope with his 72nd-minute attempt, but Cesar thwarted his Inter Milan team-mate.
As a result of the victory, Brazil confirmed their place in South Africa and
have reached the 30-point mark.
Meanwhile, it was Argentina’s first World Cup qualifying home defeat since September 5th 1993, when they lost 5-0 to Colombia in Buenos Aires.
The two-time World Cup winners lie fourth on 22 points, only two in front of Colombia.