Uruguay draws 0-0 with Paraguay in World Cup qualifier

Uruguay had the best chances but could not convert and was forced to settle for a 0-0 draw at home to Paraguay.

Uruguay's Luis Suarez (left) and Paraguay's Gaston Gimenez battle for the ball. - AP

Uruguay had the best chances but could not convert and was forced to settle for a 0-0 draw at home to Paraguay in a South American World Cup qualifier on Thursday.

Uruguay's Jonathan Rodriguez had a goal controversially chalked off for offside in the first half and Luis Suarez put a header over the bar from close in. Suarez battled valiantly and substitute Facundo Torres caused problems as Uruguay dominated as the game went on. But they could not get the all-important goal on a pitch that cut up quickly and made silky play difficult.

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The draw extended Paraguay’s unbeaten run to eight competitive games, its longest such streak since 2011. It leaves both teams with seven points after five games in the race to Qatar 2022, five points behind leader Brazil, which plays Ecuador on Friday.

The top four teams in the 10-team group qualify automatically, and the fifth-placed side goes into an intercontinental playoff.

Earlier in the day, Bolivia beat Venezuela 3-1 to get its first win of the campaign.

Marcelo Moreno scored twice for the home side, once five minutes into the match and then again with seven minutes remaining. In between Jhon Chancellor equalised for Venezuela after 26 minutes and then Diego Ibanez restored Bolivia’s lead on the hour mark.

The result lifts Bolivia off the bottom of the table and means Peru, which faces Colombia later on Thursday, is the only one of the 10 teams yet to record a win.

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