Chile beat Venezuela 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier Tuesday night on goals by Hector Tapia and Ivan Zamorano.
Tapia scored from the top of the penalty area in the 69th minute to put visiting Chile ahead at Sam Cristobal and Zamorano connected on a diving header in the final minute.
In other games, Colombia gained a scoreless tie at Ecuador and Peru played at Uruguay.
Colombia (2-1-3) moved into third place with nine points following the game at Quito, trailing Argentina (5-0) and Uruguay (3-1-1).
Paraguay (3-2) is fourth, followed by Brazil (2-1-2), with Ecuador and Chile (both 2-3-1) tied for sixth and Peru and Bolivia (both 1-1-3) tied for eighth. Venezuela (1-5) is last.
The top four nations qualify for the 32-nation field at the 2002 World Cup, and the fifth-place team meets the Oceania champion in a playoff for another berth.
Wednesday’s game at Sao Paulo will mark the first-ever meeting between Argentina in a qualifier. Before the 1998 tournament, South American qualifying was split into groups, and Brazil qualified automatically for the last World Cup as defending champion.
``This is a good test for our team, and for Argentina, too,″ said Rivaldo, FIFA’s player of the year. ``If Brazil wins this one, everyone will forget what happened, because beating Argentina has a special taste.″
Argentina felt the same.
``It is beautiful to play against Brazil because there is so much prestige at stake,″ Javier Zanetti said. ``It is the game the Argentines most want to win.″
Cafu, Brazil’s captain, will miss the game because of a one-game suspension for his ejection against Paraguay last week.
``Everybody talks about Argentina, but they did the same at the pre-Olympic tournament and we won,″ Brazil coach Wanderley Luxemburgo said. ``They have to respect Brazilian soccer.″