CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying leaders Brazil claimed their sixth successive win after seeing off Peru 2-0 thanks to Gabriel Jesus on Tuesday.
Manchester City-bound forward Jesus was the hero in Lima, inspiring the win as Tite’s Brazil made it six consecutive qualifying victories for the first time since trying to reach the 1970 World Cup, when they had Pele and Carlos Alberto in the squad.
In a thrilling encounter, Brazil sensation Jesus coolly converted from inside the penalty area 13 minutes into the second half – taking his international tally to five goals in just six appearances.
And the 19-year-old turned provider 11 minutes from time, teeing up Renato Augusto.
Brazil’s win, coupled with Uruguay’s loss in Chile, helped the South American giants move four points clear atop the standings after 12 matches, with Peru remaining eighth.
There were changes to starting XIs for Peru and Brazil.
Peru coach Ricardo Gareca brought in Andy Polo, Nilson Loyola and Pedro Aquino at the expense of Edison Flores, Christian Cueva and Miguel Trauco following last week’s sensational 4-1 rout of Paraguay.
High-flying Brazil were forced into one change after their convincing 3-0 win over Argentina last time out, with the suspended Marcelo replaced by Filipe Luis at left-back as Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Jesus continued to lead the line for the visitors.
The contest was refreshingly open and that was the case from the opening whistle in an end-to-end match.
Andre Carrillo had the best opportunity of the half and it only took seven minutes. The Benfica star played a neat one-two with Cueva and got in behind Brazil’s defence but his low shot rattled the crossbar.
At the other end, Neymar broke forward, gliding past his opponent with ease and cutting the ball back for Paulinho, whose effort was saved by Pedro Gallese.
Brazil almost hit the front 10 minutes before half-time, but Fernandinho’s close-range header cannoned into the ground and over the crossbar.
The quick tempo remained the same in the second half and it only increased as both teams went in search of a goal.
And Brazil were the first to strike via Jesus, who made no mistake from inside the penalty area in the 58th minute after the ball fell kindly to him as Peru attempted to clear their lines.
Peru came close to equalising in the 72nd minute, when Christian Ramos’ header went just wide of the post, while Neymar rattled the crossbar four minutes later.
Brazil made sure of the win with 11 minutes remaining, Augusto firing a low shot beyond Gallese after Jesus squared the ball across the area as Tite and Co. kept their fourth consecutive clean sheet and fifth in six outings.