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World Cup Qualifiers: Jesus, Coutinho set up comfortable Brazil win

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Gabriel Jesus scored his fifth goal in six international matches as Brazil extended their lead at the top of the South American zone World Cup qualifying standings with a 2-0 victory over Peru here.

Jesus struck just before the hour-mark at the Estadio Nacional on Tuesday with a cool finish after Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho's piercing run into the penalty area. The 19-year-old Manchester City-bound striker then unselfishly set up Renato Augusto, whose angled low shot left Pedro Gallese with no chance.

Brazil have now won six straight matches under head coach Tite, who replaced Dunga after the team's group-stage elimination from the Copa America in June.

Tuesday's result mean the five-time World Cup winners lead the standings with 27 points from 12 matches, four points clear of second-placed Uruguay, who were beaten by Chile.

The top-four teams at the end of the two-year tournament will book a spot at the 2018 World Cup in Russia while the fifth-placed side will earn a play-off berth.

Earlier, Lionel Messi scored a goal and set up two others as Argentina put their qualifying campaign back on track with a 3-0 victory over Colombia.

Messi opened the scoring in the 10th minute at the Bicentenario stadium with a curling free kick that left goalkeeper David Ospina clasping at thin air.

Lucas Pratto made it 2-0 soon after when he met a pinpoint Messi cross with a header that flew in at the far post. Messi put the result beyond doubt when he dribbled into the box and picked out Angel Di Maria, who rifled his shot passed Ospina from close range.

The result saw Argentina usurp Colombia in fifth place in the standings.

Meanwhile, Alexis Sanchez scored two second-half goals as Chile recovered from a goal down to beat Uruguay 3-1 in Santiago. Eduardo Vargas was also on target for the hosts after Edinson Cavani put the Celeste ahead in the 17th minute.

In other CONMEBOL qualifiers on Tuesday, Bolivia beat Paraguay 1-0 in La Paz and Ecuador routed Venezuela 3-0 in Quito.