Paraguay extended their lead at the top of the South American qualifying table for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ with a slim 1-0 win over Peru.
Heavily fancied and playing at home in Asuncion, the Paraguayans were made to suffer before claiming the full three-point haul. Peruvian goalkeeper Leao Butron put on a brilliant display, squashing out wave after wave of attacks from the hosts for most of the 90 minutes.
However, the Universidad San Martin man was unable to do anything about the freak goal scored by Edgar Benitez with nine minutes to go in the game. After an almighty scramble at the back, the Sol de America player managed to poke a bouncing ball past the keeper from close range and take all the points for the hosts.
The win see Paraguay increase their lead at the top of the South American charts to six points. On 23 now, the striped side are six points ahead of closest chasers Brazil, with Argentina and Chile a further point back.
A goal from Fabian Orellana in the 35th minute was enough for Chile to defeat Argentina in Santiago. Orellana's goal was his first for the national team, and gave Chile their first victory over Argentina in 35 years. The three points bring the Chileans level with Brazil and Argentina in second place on 16 points, although Chile's goal difference is inferior to that of their rivals.
Brazil coach Dunga will be under further pressure after a third scoreless draw on home turf in a row. Following their stalemates against Argentina and Bolivia, the Seleçao again failed to find the net against Colombia, to leave Brazil six points adrift of South American leaders Paraguay. Colombia, with 11 points, are in seventh place on the table.
Venezuela returned to winning ways after their nightmare against Brazil with a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Ecuador in Puerto La Cruz. Isaac Mina put the away sidde in front after only ten minutes, but a second-half blitz from the Vinotinto, with Giancarlo Maldonado, Alejandro Moreno and Juan Arango all finding the net, gave the home side three much-needed points.
The win moves Venezuela up to eighth place on the table on ten points, only three points behind fifth-placed Uruguay, and two behind their opponents Ecuador.
South American results
Wednesday 15 October
Paraguay 1-0 Peru
Chile 1-0 Argentina
Venezuela 3-1 Ecuador
Brazil 0-0 Colombia