Paraguay, World Cup quarter-finalists in 2010 but now propping up the nine-nation group with seven points from nine matches, beat visiting El Salvador 3-0 in Asuncion on Wednesday.
Richard Ortiz netted twice in the second half from chances created by fellow substitute Jonathan Fabbro as Paraguay continue to rebuild under Uruguayan coach Gerardo Pelusso after a dismal start to the qualifiers.
Centre back Pablo Aguilar had put them ahead in the 36th minute when he shot home on the rebound after his initial attempt took a lucky bounce back to him.
Paraguay visit Uruguay on March 22 when Bolivia travel to third-placed Colombia and Peru host Chile who are sixth.
Peru, one point ahead of Paraguay and behind seventh-placed Bolivia on goal difference, defeated Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 in Port of Spain.
Captain Claudio Pizarro put his side in front in the first half and midfielder Rinaldo Cruzado added the second with five minutes to go.
Bolivia came from a goal down to sink Haiti 2-1 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a lowland venue and not at high altitude in La Paz where on March 26 they will entertain group leaders Argentina.
The Bolivians recovered from Kervens Belfort's early goal for Haiti to score following two free kicks.
Carlos Saucedo headed the equaliser in the 33rd minute and substitute Gualberto Mojica grabbed the winner from 28 metres in the 58th minute, the goalkeeper being deceived when striker Marcelo Martins went for a header but did not make contact.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jonathan Fabbro