Two goals from Luis Fabiano and one from Manchester City's new signing Robinho earned Brazil a 3-0 win in Chile and put their 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualification bid back on track yesterday evening.
The five-time world champions had been languishing in sixth place in the ten-team South American Zone standings, but the result elevated them to second, above Argentina on goal difference.
With coach Dunga under constant criticism for recent poor performances, including from his country's president Lula, the trip to Santiago had loomed as a potential disaster.
Chile started well and dominated the early proceedings, but it was Luis Fabiano who opened the scoring against the run of play in the 20th minute when he headed home a Ronaldinho free-kick. It was Brazil's first goal in 317 minutes of play.
The AC Milan playmaker, showing glimpses of his top form, had the chance to make it 2-0 after Diego was downed in the box in the 34th minute. However, his penalty-kick was superbly saved by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
But ten minutes later, on the stroke of half-time, Luis Fabiano made an opening for Robinho, and he made no mistake to make it 2-0.
Cheered on by a capacity 70,000 crowd, the Chileans flung everything into attack at the start of the second half, and with tempers flaring both Brazil's Kleber and Chile's Jorge Valvidia were sent off.
With Brazil content to sit back on their lead, the home side pressed forward and were caught out eight minutes from time when Luis Fabiano struck his second goal of the match with a shot that went through Bravo's legs.
Paraguay remain two points clear at the top ahead of Matchday 8, which see Brazil host tailenders Bolivia and Argentina travel to second-bottom Peru on Wednesday.
"I think that our president will be happy today as will all Brazilians thanks to the way our team played," Dunga said afterwards. " - it's not always possible."