Neymar hat-trick helps Brazil edge Peru; Argentina rally to down Bolivia

Jumping for joy
Neymar is delighted after scoring a goal. Photo: AFP
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Lima: A hat-trick from Neymar helped Brazil to a 4-2 victory over Peru in a 2022 World Cup qualifier in Lima on Tuesday and moved the Paris St Germain forward second behind Pele on his country's all-time goal-scoring list.

Peru's Andre Carrillo got his third goal in two games to put the home side ahead after six minutes with a crisp volley from outside the box but Neymar equalised from the spot in the 28th minute after he had been fouled.

Peru went ahead again after 59 minutes when Renato Tapias 25-metre shot hit Rodrigo Caio before rolling into the net, only for Richarlison to equalise five minutes later.

Neymar put Brazil ahead with another penalty with seven minutes left and, after Peru's Carlos Zambrano was sent off, scored his 64th international goal when he stabbed home in injury time to make it 4-2.

Only Pele, with 77 goals, has scored more for Brazil than Neymar.

In Merida, Paraguay took the points with a 1-0 win over Venezuela, Gaston Gimenez scoring for the visitors with five minutes left.

Brazil and Argentina top the group after winning both of their opening matches, while Paraguay, who drew with Peru in their opener, are third on four points.

Job done
Argentina's Lionel Messi, centre, celebrates with teammate Gonzalo Montiel after defeating Bolivia. Photo: AFP

A  late goal from Joaquin Correa helped Argentina come from behind to beat Bolivia 2-1 and maintain their 100 per cent record in the South American World Cup qualifiers.

Bolivia took the lead after 24 minutes when captain Marcelo Martins rose unmarked to head home a cross from the left. However, Argentina, who beat visitors Ecuador 1-0 in their opener last week, equalised seconds before half-time when a clearance from defender Jose Maria Carrasco hit Lautaro Martinez just yards from goal and flew into the net.

Correa then got Argentinas winner with a sweet left-foot strike 11 minutes from the final whistle as Bolivia suffered another defeat following their 5-0 thrashing away to Brazil last week.The result was Argentina's ninth game unbeaten under coach Lionel Scaloni and their first win in Bolivia since 2005.

The next round of games take place next month.

The top four from the 10-team group qualify directly for Qatar with the fifth-placed side going into an inter-confederation play-off.

The results: Bolivia lost to Argentina 1-2; Ecuador bt Uruguay 4-2; Venezuela lost to Paraguay 0-1; Peru lost to Brazil 2-4; Chile drew with Colombia 2-2.

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