SALVADOR, Brazil (AP)—Even without four of its top players, Brazil prevented Chile from clinching a World Cup berth.
Nilmar scored three goals to lead Brazil to a 4-2 victory Wednesday night. The five-time World Cup champions were missing Kaka, Lucio and Luis Fabiano, all serving suspensions because of yellow card, and Robinho, sidelined by a right-leg muscle injury.
Nilmar scored in the 31st, 73rd and 76th minutes, and Julio Baptista got a goal in the 41st for Brazil, which last weekend ensured its 19th consecutive World Cup berth.
Chile erased an early 2-0 deficit with goals by Humberto Suazo in first-half injury time and in the 52nd. Suazo’s second goal came just three minutes after Brazil’s Felipe Melo ejected for a hard foul on Alexis Sanchez, who was sent off himself for yellow cards in the 61st and 77th minutes.
Brazil (9-1-6) leads South American qualifying with 33 points, three ahead of Paraguay (9-4-3), which clinched a berth on Wednesday.
Chile (8-5-3) has 27 points, four ahead of Ecuador (6-5-5), five in front of Argentina (6-6-4) and six ahead of Uruguay (5-5-6) and Venezuela (6-7-3).