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11.06.2009 09:42

Mixed fortunes for Alves, Messi & Cáceres


Brazil remains in the lead in the South American qualifying group for the World Cup after beating Paraguay while Argentina languish in fourth place after a defeat to Ecuador. The draw between Uruguay and Venezuela leaves both teams well off the pace.

Brazil has virtually sealed a place in South Africa thanks to a 2-1 victory over Paraguay. Barça’s Dani Alves retained his regular place in the starting line-up and played the full 90 minutes in the José do Rego Maciel stadium in Recife. The wingback produced a good performance and was instrumental in Brazil’s equalizer, providing the cross for Manchester City’s Robinho (min. 40) after Paraguay had taken the lead 15 minutes earlier. Nilmar made it 2-1 (min.49) from Robinho’s pass.

Another defeat for Argentina

ECUADOR-ARGENTINA.jpgA good performance by Ecuador and an altitude of 2,850 metres at Quito’s Olímpico Atahualpa stadium combined to defeat Argentina (2-0). Contrary to pre-match speculation, Leo Messi figured in the starting line-up and played the entire match. Walter Ayovi (min. 71) and Pablo Palacios (min. 83) got the goals for Ecuador. The game might have gone differently had Manchester United’s Carlos Tévez not missed a penalty kick in the 27th min.

Cáceres plays 81 minutes in Venezuela v Uruguay (2-2)

Martín Cáceres took his place in the starting line-up for Uruguay against Venezuela (2-2) in the CTE Cachamay stadium in Puerto Ordaz. The Barça defender was replaced in the 81st minute by Edison Cavani. The draw favours neither country as they fall further behind the leading group. The goals were scored by Suárez and Forlán (Uruguay) and Maldonado and Rey (Venezuela).
Photos: www.cbf.com.br and www.afa.org.ar
Photos: www.cbf.com.br and www.afa.org.ar
All to play for in South American group
With four matchdays remaining, the top four places in the South American group are still undecided. Fifth place will provide an extra chance via the playoffs against the fourth placed country in the North, Central America and Caribbean group. However, Brazil leads the way with 27 points while Argentina is fourth with 22. Uruguay trails in sixth place with 18 points.

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