Bolivia pulled off the biggest shock on matchday six in the CONMEBOL qualifying group when they saw off Paraguay 4-2. La Albirroja stay top of the section despite losing their unbeaten record in La Paz, although Argentina cut their lead to two points after drawing 0-0 with Brazil in Belo Horizonte.
Colombia held on to third place after picking up a point in Ecuador, while Uruguay surged back into contention by ruthlessly dispatching Peru in Montevideo. FIFA.com rounds up all the news on those games and the week's other qualifiers in South America.
The continent's big two played out their first 0-0 draw since Argentina 1978, anxiety and mutual respect playing major parts in the goalless spectacle. Even so, both sides had their chances and goalkeepers Roberto Abbondanzieri and Julio Cesar were both called into action on several occasions, the Brazilian custodian doing particularly well to deny Lionel Messi in the dying stages. Unhappy with the performance of Dunga's side, the home fans eloquently expressed their discontent by rising as one to applaud Messi when he was substituted late on.
Bolivia clambered off the bottom of the table with their first win of the campaign against leaders Paraguay, who arrived in La Paz with an unbeaten record and their morale boosted by the weekend defeat of Brazil. Although the visitors had conceded only one goal in five games, they found themselves 2-0 down after only 25 minutes. Roque Santa Cruz and Nelson Haedo came off the bench to spark a momentary revival for the Albirroja, but the Bolivians quickly snuffed out the visitors' hopes with another two-goal burst to breathe new life into their qualification challenge.
The 29-year-old enjoyed a night to remember as he scored a hat-trick in his side's emphatic 6-0 defeat of Peru. Forlan's three-goal salvo made him the joint-top scorer in the qualifying tournament with four alongside compatriot Sebastian Abreu and Argentina's Juan Roman Riquelme. It also took his overall FIFA World Cup qualifiers haul to seven, the blond-haired striker having scored three in Uruguay's failed bid to reach Germany 2006.
Paraguay's reverse in Bolivia left Colombia with the only unbeaten record in the competition. Adopting a conservative gameplan away to Ecuador in Quito, the Cafeteros almost stole the points with a late attack on the counter. Defeat would have been harsh on the Ecuadorians, who made all the running but lacked ideas in the final third, and while the frustrated hosts greeted the final whistle with disappointment, the Colombians were delighted to come away with a point from a tricky assignment.
In the week's opening game Uruguay were indebted to some flawless finishing from their attacking trio as they romped to a heartening 6-0 win over Peru. Chipping in alongside hat-trick man Forlan were Carlos Bueno with two and Abreu with one. The Celeste are banking on their potent front line to propel them all the way to South Africa and with 15 goals in six games so far, the Uruguayans are the highest scorers in the section. For the vanquished Peruvians, however, there seems to be no end to their slump. Having sunk to the bottom of the group, their latest finals dream would appear to be over.
The numbers game
35 - The number of years Paraguay have now gone without winning a FIFA World Cup qualifier™ in Bolivia. Their one and only victory to date came on 2 September 1973 when they won 2-1 in La Paz in a qualifying match for Germany 1974. In the five games since then the Bolivians have won two and drawn three.
What they said
"We are not happy with a draw because we came here to win and I think we deserved to do so. It's a pleasure to play in a team like this, though, to be able to come to Brazil and play the way we did. That's one thing we should be happy about," Argentina midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme.
The seventh round of matches will be played on 6 and 7 September. The two stand-out games are Paraguay's visit to Argentina and Brazil's trip to Chile, while Colombia's home match with Uruguay is also one to follow. Elsewhere, Ecuador entertain Bolivia and Peru host Venezuela.