World Cup qualifiers: Brazil scores five against Bolivia

Roberto Firmino scored twice and Marquinhos and Philippe Coutinho also got on the scoresheet as Brazil hammered Bolivia 5-0 in Sao Paulo.

Marquinhos celebrates after scoring Brazil's opening goal in Sao Paulo on Friday. - AP

Roberto Firmino scored twice and Marquinhos and Philippe Coutinho also got goals as Brazil hammered Bolivia 5-0 in its opening World Cup qualifier in Sao Paulo on Friday.

Brazil had never lost a World Cup qualifier at home, a run that stood at 54 matches going into Friday's game, and it never looked in danger of losing that record.

Marquinhos put the home side 1-0 up with a header after 16 minutes before Firmino scored after 18 and 49 minutes, both times by getting on the end of low crosses into the penalty box.

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Brazil was rampant down the flanks and the Bolivian defence had little answer to the crosses of Renan Lodi and Everton and the dangerous midfield promptings of Neymar, who was unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet.

The fourth came after 66 minutes, when a glancing touch from Rodrygo deflected off defender Jose Maria Carrascos shoulder and Philippe Coutinho completed the rout with a header seven minutes later.

Bolivia, which last qualified for the World Cup finals in 1994, started with an inexperienced side under a torrential rain at Corinthians' Neo Quimica Arena and had just one shot on target compared to Brazil's 10.

The top four teams in the 10-team South American group qualify directly for Qatar 2022 and the fifth-placed side goes into an inter-regional playoff.

Brazil now travels to Lima to face Peru on Tuesday, while Bolivia is at home the same day to Argentina, which opened its campaign with a 1-0 win over Ecuador on Thursday.

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