Brazil is celebrating as the first South American team to qualify for the World Cup — with several matches in hand and more than a year before the tournament begins in Qatar.
South American soccer body CONMEBOL says Brazil is the first team of the region to qualify, with 11 wins in 12 matches. The latest came Thursday night in Sao Paulo, with Lucas Paqueta scoring the only goal in the 72nd minute in a 1-0 win over Colombia.
Alisson spoke to the press and said: "I am always dreaming. The human being is moved by dreams, something that I learned from my father, to dream big. I have big goals and to play a World Cup is one of them. But it's not just this goal. To win the World Cup is (also) one of them. (We have) Several goals to achieve this huge dream of winning the 6th World Cup for Brazil."
The five-time World champions is 18 points ahead of fourth-place Chile, which can add only 15 points from its five remaining matches. The top four teams in South America earn direct entry to the World Cup. The fifth-place team in South American qualifiers goes into an intercontinental playoff for a spot in Qatar.