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World Cup Qualifiers: Brazil go top in South America as Uruguay are held by Colombia

Brazil have jumped to the top of the South American zone (CONMEBOL) World Cup qualifying standings following a 2-0 away victory over Venezuela.

Manchester City-bound striker Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring at Estadio Metropolitano in Merida on Tuesday by chipping over goalkeeper Hernandez Santos after some poor defending byVenezuela in the eighth minute. Chelsea's Willian made it 2-0 just after halftime with a slick first-time finish following a Renato Augusto cross.

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World Cup Qualifier: Benteke scores hat-trick including fastest ever goal

Christian Benteke set a new World Cup record for the fastest goal in the competition, including the finals, in Belgium's qualifier against Gibraltar here.

The 25-year-old Crystal Palace striker, who was to bag a hat-trick, picked up the ball to score after just seven seconds in the first action of the Group H qualifier on Monday with the Gibraltar defence in disarray, leaving goalie Deren Ibrahim with no chance.

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World Cup Qualifier: Pogba strike gives France narrow win against Netherlands

Paul Pogba's long-range strike gave European Championship runners-up France a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands in a World Cup qualifying Group A match in Amsterdam.

Jeffrey Bruma's loose pass was intercepted by Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny in the 31st minute who quickly fed Pogba. Captain Kevin Strootman gave the Manchester United star far too much time and space and Pogba unleashed a powerful drive from 30 meters that Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg could only deflect on its way into the back of the net.

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Lloris stands up for struggling Pogba

France football team captain Hugo Lloris believes Paul Pogba's slow start in the new season can be put down to his exertions at last summer's European championship.

"There are a lot of players who played in the European Championship and are experiencing physical difficulties at this moment," the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper told media ahead of France's visit to the Netherlands for a 2018 World Cup qualifier on Monday.

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World Cup Qualifier Preview: Australia vs Japan

With just one point separating the top four teams in the group, the 2018 football World Cup qualifying match between Australia and Japan on Tuesday could prove crucial to both nations' hopes of making it to Russia.

The game, to be played at Melbourne's Docklands Stadium, is shaping as one of the most important of the Asian qualification tournament to date with Australia, currently on top of the group with seven points from three games, hoping to create a substantial gap between themselves and Saudi Arabia.

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Gerard Pique announces his retirement plans

FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has said he will retire from the Spanish national side following the 2018 football World Cup final in Russia. He announced this after Spain scored a 2-0 win in Albania on Sunday night.

The 29-year-old defender from the Catalan region of Spain was on social network 'Twitter' accused of having deliberately cut the sleeves of his Spain shirt so as not to wear the Spanish flag.

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World Cup Qualifier Preview: Venezuela vs Brazil

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Brazil's national football team will face Venezuela on Tuesday in a South American World Cup qualifier for Russia 2018 without star player Neymar. Neymar received a one-match ban after being shown a second yellow card during the qualifier match against Bolivia on October 6, in which Brazil won 5-0.

Neymar left the Brazil camp after the match and is expected to return to his Spanish club Barcelona on Monday.

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