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FIFA WC Qualifiers: Neymar's Brazil Thrash Bolivia, Ecuador Stun Chile


Updated: October 7, 2016, 10:54 AM IST
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FIFA WC Qualifiers: Neymar's Brazil Thrash Bolivia, Ecuador Stun Chile
Brazil's Gabriel Jesus (R), Brazil's Neymar (2-R) and Brazil's Giuliano celebrate after scoring against Bolivia during their Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier football match in Natal, Brazil, on October 6, 2016. / AFP / Nelson ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Neymar scored one goal and set up two more as Brazil turned on the style with a 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia in South America's 2018 World Cup qualifying competition on Thursday.

Barcelona superstar Neymar's 49th international goal in his 73rd appearance took him one clear of Zico on Brazil's all-time topscorer's list.

Still only 24, Neymar should reach Pele's all-time record of 77 goals from 91 games with something to spare if he continues to score at his present rate.

The Brazilian talisman was eventually substituted midway through the second half at the Estadio das Dunas in Natal, leaving the field to a loud ovation for his role in another impressive Brazilian win.

Brazil's victory left them comfortably on course to secure their place at the 2018 finals in Russia. The Brazilians are now second in the standings with 18 points from nine games.

It was also a third consecutive victory from three games for new manager Tite, who was appointed after the sacking of Dunga in June.

Brazil next face a trip to winless Venezuela in their qualifier on Tuesday.

Argentina were held 2-2 by Peru in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers on Thursday, their second successive away draw without injured talisman Lionel Messi, which dropped them to fifth in the South American group.

After nine matches, the halfway point in the South American qualifiers, Uruguay top the table with 19 points followed by Brazil on 18 and Ecuador, Colombia and Argentina all on 16. Peru climbed one place to eighth with eight points.

South American champions Chile suffered another jolt to their 2018 World Cup qualification hopes, crashing to a 3-0 defeat against Ecuador to remain outside the qualification places.

Chile, the region's dominant side over the past two years with back-to-back Copa America wins, were torn apart as Ecuador produced a rampant display at the Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa.

Goals from Manchester United's Antonio Valencia, Ferencvaros's Cristian Ramirez and Espanyol's Felipe Caicedo secured the points for the hosts.

Chile have never won a competitive fixture in Quito, which is some 9,000 feet (2,743 meters) above sea level. That long record of failure never looked like coming to an end as Ecuador poured forward from the kick off with relentless pressure.

The win leaves Ecuador second in the overall standings with 16 points from nine games, trailing leaders Uruguay on goal difference.

Chile remain two points outside the qualification places with 11 points from eight games.

First Published: October 7, 2016, 9:50 AM IST
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