With Ajax striker Anthony in the starting line-up for the first time, Brazil secured top spot in the South American qualifying group. The five-time world champion defeated Chile at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro thanks to goals from Neymar (penalty kick), Vinicius Jr., Philippe Coutinho (penalty kick) and Richarlison, who came in place of Anthony.
The 22-year-old Ajax player scored the winning goal against Feyenoord (3-2) on Sunday, but he also appeared red in stoppage time due to the time delay. Anthony Johan Cruyff left the Arena with an ankle injury on crutches, but was fit enough to take first place in the national team on Thursday.
Anger in Peru
There was a lot to do about Uruguay’s victory. Peru is furious over an alleged goal in the 96th minute. Goalkeeper Sergio Rochet (formerly Arizona) grabbed the ball before it crossed the goal line, but according to many Peruvians, it would have ended up behind the goal line. However, the referee did not give Peru a goal, which means that he may forget about direct qualification for the World Cup.
Canada misses the opportunity
Canadian footballers missed their first chance to get a World Cup ticket. National coach John Herdman’s side lost 1-0 to Costa Rica in San Jose, Canada’s first defeat in this playoff. The North American country has two more chances to qualify for the second time to the World Finals, after making its World Cup debut in 1986.
Canada had to carry on with ten men half an hour later, after Marc Anthony Kay was sent off with his second yellow card. Celso Borges scored in stoppage time from the first half, leaving Costa Rica with 19 points to continue qualifying directly for the World Cup.
“This is football, too,” Herdmann said. “We went unbeaten in 17 games, but the football gods were not with us today. We are not looking back, we have our fate in our hands. We are going to Qatar.”
Canada still leads the table with 25 points from 12 matches. Followed by the United States and Mexico with 22 points. The mutual confrontation in Mexico City ended in a 0-0 draw. Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez played the entire match for Mexico, and PSV Eindhoven’s Eric Gutierrez joined the team 10 minutes before the end. Luca de la Torre of Heracles Almelo remained on the bench with the Americans.
Numbers 1 to 3 from Concacaf, a union of countries from North and Central America and the Caribbean, qualify directly for the World Cup. Player No. 4 gets a second chance in the Intercontinental Playoff. Canada can still qualify against Jamaica on Sunday in Toronto, or else Panama will follow with another chance three days later.
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