Brazil become first country to qualify for 2018 World Cup in Russia

Brazil became the first country to qualify for next year's World Cup in Russia thanks to some help from fellow South Americans Peru.

Neymar starred with his 52nd international goal as high-flying Brazil overcame Paraguay 3-0 on Tuesday but the CONMEBOL leaders still needed a favourable result in Peru.

It marks a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the Samba stars following the instalment of coach Tite after the departure of Dunga at the helm.

When the new boss took over, Brazil found themsleves sixth in the south American standings and in real danger of missing out on qualification.

Tite's men - amid a nine-game winning streak since last year's Copa America Centenario - benefited from Peru's 2-1 win at home to struggling Uruguay as the five-time world champions are assured of at least a fourth-place finish, officially stamping their ticket to Russia 2018.

Peru's victory, while keeping their own qualification hopes alive, left third-placed Uruguay 10 points adrift.

With four rounds remaining, Brazil are 11 points clear of Argentina, who were last night shocked by Bolivia without the suspended Messi, and safely through to the finals in Russia.

Argentina are now fifth and occupy the play-off spot and will face Uruguay in August.

Brazil are back in qualifying action against Ecuador in the same month.

READ MORE: Tite warns there is more to Brazil than just Neymar after sealing World Cup qualification

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