Record-setting Brazil seal World Cup spot

Brazil have defeated Colombia 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier in Sao Paulo to become the first South American team to qualify for Qatar 2022.

Lucas Paqueta got the goal 72 minutes into the match with a shot that goalkeeper David Ospina got a hand to but could not stop.

Brazil lead the 10-team South American group with 34 points from 12 games, nine clear of second-placed Argentina.

The top four teams qualify automatically for Qatar 2022 and the fifth-placed side goes into an inter-confederation playoff.

The win extended Brazil’s home run in the qualifiers to 11 consecutive victories, a record in the South American region.

The game also marked their 10th consecutive home qualifier without conceding a goal, another record.

The match in Sao Paulo was a feisty one that produced 44 fouls and seven yellow cards in a physical encounter on a wet surface.

The result puts Brazil, who have won 11 of their 12 matches so far, in an unassailable position.

“We just need to keep working, we have some games to play and we will give it our usual commitment,” Brazil defender Marquinhos said.

“We know there isn’t much time to think, the World Cup comes round quick and we want to keep improving so we are in the best possible form when we get there.”

Who goes with them to Qatar is still an open question after a night of fascinating results that left almost all the other teams believing they could still secure one of the places alongside Brazil.

An own goal by goalkeeper Antony Silva from an Alexis Sanchez corner got new Paraguay coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto off to a losing start, 1-0 at home to Chile.

After winning just one of their first 10 qualifiers, Chile have now won their past three and victory lifted them to fourth on goal difference with 16 points, the same as Colombia and Uruguay, who play Argentina on Friday.

Ecuador are in third place in the group on 20 points courtesy of a 1-0 home win over bottom side Venezuela.

Piero Hincapie scored the only goal of the game four minutes before halftime.

Peru kept their qualification hopes alive with a 3-0 win over Bolivia in Lima.

Sergio Pena, Christian Cueva and Gianluca Lapadula scored in a crushing first-half performance to lift seventh-placed Peru to 14 points.