Visiting sides had little to shout about as the eighth round of qualifying matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ took place in South America. The five teams on the road scored a solitary goal between them on a day that saw two home wins and three draws, as Paraguay pulled four points clear at the top. FIFA.com rounds up all the week's action, including Chile's win, a hugely disappointing home performance by Brazil, another draw for Argentina and a goalless stalemate for Uruguay.
Absent from the big stage since France 1998, both Chile and Colombia were anxious to get back to winning ways after weekend defeats. It was La Roja who got their wishes, however, putting four goals past a Cafetero side that had only conceded three in their opening seven matches. Alexis Sanchez was at the heart of all Chile's best moves as Marcelo Bielsa's side climbed up to fourth and erased memories of two consecutive 3-0 defeats at home. Unbeaten until five days ago, Colombia now drop to sixth.
Undeterred by their record of never having earned a single point in Brazil or kept a clean sheet there, bottom-placed Bolivia pulled off the shock of the day. Despite being a man down for the last 37 minutes following Ignacio Garcia's dismissal, the Bolivians managed to hold out against a Brazil side that struggled to exert sustained pressure. The result allowed the Canarinha to hold onto second place but did not stop the home crowd from voicing their disapproval as coach Dunga and his players trooped off the pitch.
The 27-year-old centre-half turned in a solid, authoritative and elegant display at the Estadio Joao Havelange in Rio de Janeiro, playing no small part in his side's unexpected and thoroughly deserved draw. Raldes, who plays his club football for Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia, barely put a foot wrong as backmarkers Bolivia surprised a Brazil side that had outplayed leaders Paraguay as recently as June.
Paraguay consolidated their position at the top when they bounced back from two consecutive draws to ease past a fast-fading Venezuela 2-0 on Tuesday, the goals coming from Cristian Riveros and Nelson Haedo Valdez. Having won all four of their games at their Asuncion fortress, Gerardo Martino and his men now find themselves in a commanding position.
Uruguay and Ecuador both missed out on a fine chance to confirm their recent revivals by playing out a dull goalless draw in Montevideo. Lacking invention and ideas up front, the Celeste could find no way past a well-drilled defence as the visitors extended their unbeaten run to five games. The two dropped points mean Uruguay now fall back to fifth place.
Argentina endured another fruitless day when they were held to a 1-1 draw in Peru, a result that sees them drop to third after five games without a victory, their last win coming in November 2007. Alfio Basile's side came close, however, going ahead through Esteban Cambiasso only for Johan Fano to snatch an equaliser in the third minute of injury time. Despite their late dramatics, Jose Del Solar and his men remain one off the bottom.