Wednesday 29 March 2017, 07:13

Brazil ease their way to Russia

• Brazil through with four games to spare • Five-time champions the first team to join hosts Russia • Maintains unique record of having competed at every edition

Brazil have become the second nation to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ after a 3-0 home win over Paraguay on Tuesday in Sao Paulo.

The five-time world champions achieved their goal with four matches to spare and join hosts Russia for next year’s global showpiece.

Philippe Coutinho scored a first-half opener against Paraguay, with Neymar and Marcelo adding insurance in the second period.

The victory, combined with a stunning 4-1 win over Uruguay last week, sees Brazil open up a nine-point gap over Colombia.

The top four South American nations will feature at Russia 2018, with the fifth to play-off against an Oceania opponent.

Brazil are the only nation to compete in every edition of the World Cup.