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Brazil beats Argentina to clinch World Cup berth

Fabiano scores two goals in 3-1 road win as Maradona's fate as coach of Argentina could be in question after loss.

September 06, 2009|Associated Press

Brazil clinched a place in next year's World Cup and further threatened Argentina's chances of qualifying by winning its qualifier, 3-1, on Saturday at Rosario, Argentina.

Fabiano scored two goals and Luisao had another for Brazil, raising the pressure on Argentina Coach Diego Maradona.

The victory in the World Cup qualifier guarantees Brazil a place in next year's 32-team tournament in South Africa.

Fabiano scored in the 30th and 67th with Luisao opening the scoring in the 24th. Jesus Datolo got Argentina's goal in the 65th.

Brazil tops the South American group with 30 points. Argentina is hanging on in fourth place with 22.

In other South American games: Jackson Martinez and Teofilo Gutierrez scored second-half goals to lift Colombia to a 2-0 win over visiting Ecuador at Medellin. Colombia and Ecuador are tied with 20 points with three matches left. . . . Salvador Cabanas scored on a penalty in first-half injury time, lifting Paraguay to a 1-0 home victory over Bolivia at Asuncion. The victory improved Paraguay to 27 points, three behind Brazil in the standings. . . . Uruguay's World Cup chances took a hit when it lost on the road, 1-0, to Peru at Lima.

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Europe

Portugal and France put themselves in difficult positions to reach next year's World Cup, each playing to a disappointing tie in qualifying.

Defending World Cup champion Italy and European champion Spain maintained their leads.

Cristiano Ronaldo, the FIFA player of the year, is in danger of missing the World Cup after Portugal needed a last-minute goal by Liedson for a 1-1 tie against Denmark.

Denmark (5-0-2) leads Group One with 17 points, four ahead of Hungary (4-2-1), which lost, 2-1, at home to Sweden when Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in injury time. Sweden (3-1-3) is third with 12 points, and Portugal (2-1-4) has 10.

France likely will have to win a playoff for a World Cup berth after a disappointing 1-1 tie with Romania at Saint-Denis.

At Tblisi, Georgia captain Kakha Kaladze -- who plays for AC Milan -- had own goals on headers in the 57th and 67th minutes, giving Italy a 2-0 victory over Georgia. Italy (5-0-2) leads Group Eight with 17 points.

Spain routed Belgium 5-0 as David Villa scored two goals and set up two others. Spain (7-0), the European champion, is atop Group Five with 21 points.

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CONCACAF

Mexico won for the first time in four road matches, beating Costa Rica, 3-0, at San Jose on goals by Giovanni Dos Santos, Guillermo Franco and Andres Guardado.

Meanwhile, Honduras maintained its lead after a 4-1 home rout of Trinidad and Tobago. Honduras and the U.S. have 13 points but Honduras has the edge on goal difference. Mexico and Costa Rica have 12 points.

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