Neymar scores incredible goal as Brazil book world cup spot

Brazil became the first nation to qualify for the World Cup in Russian Federation after they beat Paraguay 3-0 on Tuesday.

Neymar starred with his 52nd worldwide goal as highflying Brazil beat Paraguay 3-0 on Tuesday but the CONMEBOL leaders still wanted a favourable result in Peru. The top four sides automatically qualify for Russian Federation, and the fifth-place squad will enter a two-leg playoff against a team from the Oceania Football Confederation.

Paris Saint-Germain's Cavani struck from the spot against Brazil to save his country's blushes, but the Ligue 1 top scorer (27 goals) failed to find the target as the Celeste fell in Lima.

Brazil lead the standings on 33 points with four matches to play, 11 points ahead of arch-rivals Argentina, who slipped back into fifth after a 2-0 defeat away to Bolivia without suspended captain Lionel Messi.

Brazil sealed their ticket to Russian Federation with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Paraguay.

They have become a team to fear again, as adversaries such as Uruguay's coach Oscar Tabarez acknowledged.

"There has been a big change", Neymar said. "Nowadays I only think about playing football, I am better in every aspect", Neymar said in a press conference, alongside Tite.

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The history of personal meetings, as well as the results of previous matches, in most cases remained in favor of the Brazilian national team.

Brazil midfielder Willian has warned his team-mates that they have not achieved anything yet after booking their spot at the 2018 World Cup. Phillipe Coutinho and Marcelo scored Brazil's other goals.

Under manager Tite, Brazil have won eight straight games and nine straight overall. Bolivia's striker Marcelo Martins waves after his team defeated Argentina 2-0 in a 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match in La Paz, Bolivia, on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

The Selecao became the first team, other than the hosts, to secure passage to the tournament in Russian Federation next year, thanks to a 3-0 win over Paraguay and Uruguay's 2-1 loss to Peru.

Brazil no longer depend exclusively on Neymar, and can play without teenage target man Gabriel Jesus and still score goals.

In the second-half, Brazil moved up the gears, with Neymar winning a penalty, only to see his effort easily saved by Antony Silva after a bloody silly run up.

  • Lawrence Cooper