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South American WCQ: Argentina secure crucial win as Brazil march on

The race for places at the 2018 FIFA world cup in Russia continued in South America with big wins for Colombia, Argentina and Brazil.

Brazil extended their lead at the top of the standings to seven points with a 4-1 win over Uruguay.

Paulinho scored a hat-trick for the Selecao after Edinson Cavani’s opener, with Neymar getting the other goal for Tite’s side who look certain to be in russia with five games left.

Elsewhere, Lionel Messi scored a penalty for third place Argentina in a crucial 1-0 win over South American champions Chile in Buenos Aires .

A lacklustre Colombia managed a 1-0 win over Bolivia at Estadio Metropolitano while bottom team Venezuela were held to a 2-2 draw by Peru in Maturín.

Paraguay battled to a 2-1 victory over Ecuador in Asunción to move up to seventh place, three points behind the automatic qualifying positions

After 13 qualifying games, Brazil lead the standings with 30 points, seven points clear of Uruguay while Argentina remain third on 22 points, followed by Colombia (21), Ecuador (20) and Chile (20).

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