Football: Brazil salvage 2-2 draw in Paraguay, Messi scores 50th goal for Argentina in 2-0 win over Bolivia

Richard Ortiz (on the ground) and Gustavo Gomez (left) of Paraguay in action against Ricardo Oliveira (centre) of Brazil during their Fifa World Cup 2018 Qualification football match.
Richard Ortiz (on the ground) and Gustavo Gomez (left) of Paraguay in action against Ricardo Oliveira (centre) of Brazil during their Fifa World Cup 2018 Qualification football match.PHOTO: EPA
Lionel Messi scores a penalty during the World Cup 2018 Qualifier football match between Argentina and Bolivia.
Lionel Messi scores a penalty during the World Cup 2018 Qualifier football match between Argentina and Bolivia. PHOTO: REUTERS

ASUNCION (REUTERS) - Dani Alves scored in injury time as Brazil fought back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw with Paraguay in an exciting World Cup qualifier in Asuncion on Tuesday.

Alves showed a nice piece of close control inside the box before curling the ball into the corner two minutes into stoppage time to rescue the visitors after Paraguay had sat back in an attempt to defend their lead.

"That is the spirit of the team," Alves told reporters. "As I told my team mates, for us to get anything here we needed not just quality but also fight and attitude and we had that today."

The result saw Brazil fall to sixth place on nine points in the 10-team South American qualifying group and puts pressure on coach Dunga.

The famously combative coach said his side, now four points behind leaders Uruguay and Ecuador, would recover and laughed off suggestions his job was in danger.

"It's not news that the (future of the) manager of the national side is discussed," he said. "I didn't win, it's normal to be challenged."

The top four teams qualify automatically for Russia in 2018 with the fifth-placed side going into an intercontinental playoff.

Paraguay, also on nine points, went ahead after 39 minutes when Dario Lezcano got on the end of a cross from Edgar Benitez and while he hit the ball into the ground, it bounced up to deceive goalkeeper Alisson and defenders on the line.

Dunga introduced Hulk in place of midfielder Fernandinho after the break in a bid to get back on level terms but Paraguay doubled their lead three minutes into the second half.

Benitez collected a pass on the edge of the box and calmly slotted the ball past Alisson, while Alves stopped to appeal for offside.

Brazil's Gil had a goal disallowed for climbing after 62 minutes but they eventually got the reward their second half dominance deserved with 12 minutes remaining.

Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar could not hold Hulk's 25-yard drive and Ricardo Oliveira fired the rebound home.

In the day's other games, Uruguay moved top on 13 points after defeating Peru 1-0 at home. Ecuador lost their first game in the competition, going down 3-1 in Colombia, to fall behind Uruguay on goal difference.

Lionel Messi scored his 50th international goal to help Argentina beat Bolivia 2-0 and put his country third in the with 11 points from six matches. Chile, who came from behind to beat Venezuela 4-1, are fourth with 10 points.