Brazil beat Chile to stay perfect in World Cup quals


Everton Ribeiro came off the bench to score the goal that gave Brazil a barely deserved 1-0 win over Chile on Thursday that maintained their 100% record in 2022 World Cup qualifying.

Chile matched Brazil for most of a bad-tempered match but Ribeiro fired home after 64 minutes to give the visitors all three points.

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Brazil have won all seven of their qualifiers so far and the five-times world champions are six points clear of Argentina, who beat Venezuela earlier in the night, in the 10-team South American group.

Brazil’s preparations for the match were thrown into turmoil by some clubs’ decision not to release their players due to concerns over the lengthy quarantine on their return.

Nine players from England did not join the squad as expected and two of those called up in their place from Zenit St Petersburg arrived in Brazil but were recalled to Russia before the Chile game.

And while Brazil could still count on the likes of Neymar, Casemiro and Marquinhos they were second best for most of the first half and had goalkeeper Weverton to thank for a series of saves that kept the game goalless.

Coach Tite introduced Ribeiro and Gerson for Vinicius Junior and Bruno Guimaraes at halftime and Ribeiro justified his inclusion when he seized on a parried Neymar shot to fire home in a packed penalty box.

Chile have won just one of their seven games and face two testing away matches against Ecuador on Sunday and Colombia next week.

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

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