Brazil unconvincingly beat Venezuela 1-0 at home, but that was enough for coach Tite’s team to take the lead in South American World Cup qualifying with nine points from three matches. The winning goal in Sao Paulo was scored by Roberto Firmino from close range in the 67th minute.
Brazil did not have six players from its original squad for the match, including injured superstar Neymar. They will also be absent for Tuesday’s clash at Uruguay, which earlier beat Colombia away 3-0. Uruguay is in fourth position after the win in Barranquilla with six points, one behind second place Argentina.
The top four teams will automatically qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The fifth-place team will go into an inter-continental playoff.
The Brazilians had four goals disallowed during the match – three for offside reviewed by video assistant referee and one because of a…