Chile beat Venezuela 3-2 to relegate Brazil in World Cup qualifiers
Chile beat Venezuela 3-2 on Thursday, with a goal from Humberto Suazo in injury time which pushed Brazil out of the positions that give South American teams direct access to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. ( dpa )
In an exciting game in Puerto La Cruz, played mostly in heavy rain and on a wet pitch, host team Venezuela pulled ahead in the 58th minute with a goal from Giancarlo Maldonado.
Chile drew with a penalty kick converted by Suazo just eight minutes later, and Gonzalo Jara put the score 2- 1 in the 71st minute. But eight minutes later, Venezuelan captain Juan Arango restored equality, but Suazo, two minutes into injury time, definitively upset the home crowd.
Both teams had many chances and made serious defensive mistakes, but Chile showed more clout overall and appeared to deserve the win.
Chile was the only South American team to win in both the fifth and the sixth round of the qualifiers. It beat Bolivia at high altitude in La Paz at the weekend.
Paraguay is the lone leader in the qualifiers with 13 points in six games, two more than Argentina and three more than Colombia and Chile. Brazil is fifth with nine points.
In South America's 10-team World Cup qualifiers, each side plays home and away with each of the other nine. The top four finishers win a place in the World Cup, with the fifth-place team facing a representative of the North, Central American and Caribbean region in a playoff.
Brazilian fans booed their own team and hurled to coach Carlos Dunga insults like "donkey," besides bidding him "farewell" from the stands.
On Tuesday, Uruguay thrashed Peru 6- 0 in Montevideo. On Wednesday, Brazil and Argentina drew 0- 0 in Belo Horizonte in the regional football classic, while Bolivia made the most of the high altitude in La Paz to beat Paraguay 4-2 and Ecuador were held to a goalless draw by Colombia in Quito.
The South American qualifying round for South Africa 2010 is set to be back in September.