Brazil leaped to the top of the South American qualifying table for the 2010 World Cup on Saturday with a 4-0 rout of host Uruguay, while former leader Paraguay fell 2-0 at home to Chile.
Brazil won at Centenario stadium for the first time since 1976 on goals by FC Barcelona star Dani Alves in the 11th minute, AS Roma cenral defender Juan in the 35th, Sevilla’s Luis Fabiano in the 52nd and AC Milan star Kaka on a penalty kick in the 74th minute.
Goals by Matias Fernandez in the 12th minute and Humberto Suazo in the 50th gave the Chilean a critical away triumph that put them only one point off the pace of Brazil and Paraguay, which now trails on goal difference.
FIVE TO GO
Together with Argentina’s 1-0 triumph over Colombia at Buenos Aires, the four top teams have separated themselves with five matches remaining to decide the four squads that will qualify for the World Cup showdown in South Africa next year.
Brazil (6-1 with six drawn) stand on 24 points, moving atop Paraguay (7-3-3) by virtue of superior goal difference, with Chile (7-4-2) next on 23 points and Argentina (6-3-4) fourth on 22.
The Uruguayans are in fifth place, five points back of Argentina but only one ahead of Venezuela and just three atop Colombia and Ecuador, which has a match in hand.
The leaders are not out of reach, but even if they hold onto their spots, the remaining six teams have World Cup hope.
South America’s fifth-place finisher will meet North America’s fourth-place team for another 2010 World Cup bid.
Uruguay knew extra heart-break from a fifth-place finish in 2005, losing out on a World Cup trip to Germany in a playoff against Australia.
Daniel Diaz’s goal in the 55th minute gave Argentina a crucial home victory, stretching the gap on lower rivals for coach Diego Maradona’s side and staying within reach of the top spot.
Bolivian heartache continued with a 1-0 home loss to Venezuela after scoring an own goal in the 32nd minute.
Ecuador, level on 14 points with Colombia, was set to try to move up with an away victory yesterday at doormat Andean rivals Peru in Lima.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017