Brazil recovered from conceding an early goal to beat Uruguay 4-1 in Montevideo on Thursday, with Paulinho grabbing a hat-trick in a win that all but cements their place at next year’s World Cup finals.
The victory gave Tite his eighth win in eight games as coach and lifted leaders Brazil to 30 points in the South American qualifying group, a tally that has been more than enough to guarantee qualification in previous campaigns.
The five-times World Cup winners led second-placed Uruguay by four points before the game but it was the weakened home side that took the lead after eight minutes thanks to a penalty from Edinson Cavani.
Marcelo tried to chest down the ball to his keeper but Cavani nipped in to intercept and was pulled down by Alisson. The Paris St. Germain striker got up to rifle the ball home low to Alisson’s right.
It was the first time that Brazil had gone behind since Tite took over as coach last summer and it only took them 10 minutes to show they would not be bowed.
Neymar laid the ball off to Paulinho in midfield and the former Tottenham midfielder hammered home a spectacular right-foot shot from 30 yards out.
The top four teams qualify automatically for Russia 2018 and the fifth-placed side go into a play off with a team from Oceania.