Paraguay continue to spring the surprises on the road to South Africa 2010. The Albirroja cashed in on Argentina's reverse in Colombia with a comprehensive defeat of Chile in Santiago to move out on their own at the top of the group after four matches.
Brazil remain third after Luis Fabiano helped them to victory in the clásico against Uruguay, while Ecuador put their dismal start behind them by slamming five past Peru in Quito. Another side among the goals were Venezuela, who pushed Bolivia to the bottom of the table.
FIFA.com is here to round up all the news as the goals rained down on matchday four.
The Estadio Pueblo Nuevo in San Cristobal was the place to be this week as Venezuela and Bolivia served up an eight-goal spectacular that sent the 42,000 fans home happy. Widely regarded as the continent's makeweights, the duo showed what they can do in a exciting encounter high on goals, good football and end-to-end action.
Gerardo Martino's side show no signs of letting up in their bid to reach the promised land in 2010. Their confidence high after mauling Ecuador 5-1 at the weekend, the Guaraníes travelled to Santiago and registered another handsome win against a Chile side buoyed by Sunday's creditable 2-2 draw away to Uruguay. Solid in defence as usual and lethal on the break, the Paraguayans silenced the full house at the Estadio Nacional with a clinical performance sealed by two superb headers from Paulo da Silva.
Player of the day: Luis Fabiano (BRA)
Handed a starting place alongside Robinho in the Brazilian front line, the Sevilla striker earned his side a somewhat fortunate win over old rivals Uruguay with two sharp finishes. Dunga's men struggled to find their rhythm in Sao Paulo, and after falling behind early on they were indebted to the No 9's alertness for a win that keeps them third.
The Colombian full-back served further notice of his dead-ball skills to point his side towards victory against the Albiceleste. Bustos cancelled out Lionel Messi's opener with a dipping right-foot strike past Roberto Abbondanzieri's outstretched hand, proving that Saturday's equally spectacular winner against Venezuela was no fluke.
With only four games gone, the South American pack is still tightly bunched together. Colombia's comeback against Argentina showed they are serious contenders, and neighbours Venezuela have slipped into fifth place and a play-off spot, raising their hopes of an historic qualification campaign. Meanwhile new leaders Paraguay made light of a daunting trip to Santiago and Brazil just keep on going.
For some of the continent's coaches the pressure is already on. With their sides firmly anchored to the bottom of the section, Peru boss Jose del Solar and Bolivia supremo Erwin Sanchez are coming in for fierce criticism from the media and fans alike.
Elsewhere Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa will need to start working his magic with Chile if they are to stake a serious claim, while Oscar Washington Tabarez's attacking tactics are not to everyone's liking in Uruguay. For their part, struggling Ecuador swept aside Peru to earn themselves some breathing space after Luis Fernando Suarez's early departure. With not even a quarter of the campaign completed, the South American qualification race has underlined yet again that whatever the tactics, in football it is results that count.
The numbers game
After slumping to defeat in Bogota, Argentina could at least console themselves with the fact that Lionel Messi's goal was the first Colombia's Agustin Julio had conceded in 837 minutes of international duty.
The last time the Deportes Tolima custodian picked the ball out of the net for his country was way back on 29 May 1999, when El Salvador's Ronald Cerritos scored against him in a friendly.
The continent's finest now have a seven-month break before their next qualification appointment. The battle for places at South Africa 2010 is rejoined on 14-15 June 2008 with the following matches on the card: Uruguay-Venezuela, Bolivia-Chile, Paraguay-Brazil, Argentina-Ecuador and Peru-Colombia.
Tuesday 20 November
Wednesday 21 November
1. Paraguay, 10 pts (+8)
2. Argentina, 9 (+6)
3. Brazil, 8 (+6)
4. Colombia, 8 (+2)
5. Venezuela, 6 (0)
6. Uruguay, 4 (+3)
7. Chile, 4 (-3)
8. Ecuador, 3 (-6)
9. Peru, 2 (-6)
10. Bolivia, 1 (-10)