Russia World Cup qualifiers: South American teams restart 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign

Russia World Cup qualifiers: South American teams restart 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign
After footballing minnows Papua New Guinea and Tahiti kicked off this year’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers on Thursday, it was the turn of the big guns from South America to restart their campaigns.

Uruguay 1-4 Brazil  

A hat-trick from former Tottenham Hotspur player Paulinho and a solitary effort by Barcelona star Neymar overturned a one-goal deficit for the Samba Boys away to Uruguay.

PSG frontman Edinson Cavani put the hosts one up on nine minutes before Paulinho struck to make it 1-1 at half time at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo.

The 28-year-old, who now plays in China for Guangzhou Evergrande, put Brazil ahead after the restart and Neymar added a third before Paulinho completed his hat-trick with a beautifully chested effort from a Dani Alves cross in stoppage time.

The result put Brazil seven points clear in the table, ahead of Uruguay in second.

Argentina 1-0 Chile

Lionel Messi netted a penalty for Argentina in the only goal of their game against Chile in Buenos Aires to put them third in the group.

Messi, who briefly retired from international football last year, scored his spot kick against former Barcelona teammate Claudio Bravo, after a foul on Angel Di Maria.

Colombia 1-0 Bolivia

Argentina’s result meant they leapfrogged Colombia, who beat Bolivia 1-0 in Barranquilla on Thursday.

Captain James Rodriguez saw his spot kick saved by keeper Carlos Lampe before the Real Madrid star turned in the rebound.

Paraguay 2-1 Ecuador

Paraguay beat Ecuador with two goals from Bruno Valdez and Junior Alonso that canceled out a goal from former Manchester City man Felipe Caicedo.

Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia was a notable starter in that match in Asuncion.

Venezuela 2-2 Peru  

Venezuela couldn't lift themselves off bottom spot as they were held at home to Peru. They remain propping up the group on six points

The next round of fixtures will take place on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 March.