Everton Ribeiro came off the bench to score the goal that gave Brazil a barely deserved 1-0 win over Chile on Friday morning maintaining its 100 per cent record in 2022 World Cup qualifying.
Chile matched Brazil for most of a bad-tempered match, but Ribeiro fired home after 64 minutes to give the visitor all three points.
Brazil has won all seven of its qualifiers so far, and the five-time world champion is six points clear of Argentina in the 10-team South American group.
The top four qualify automatically for Qatar, and the fifth-placed side goes into an inter-regional playoff. Only five points separate fourth-placed Uruguay from last-placed Venezuela.
Brazil’s preparations for the match were thrown into turmoil by some clubs’ decision not to release their players due to concerns over the lengthy quarantine on their return.
Nine players from England did not join the squad as expected, and two of those called up in their place from Zenit St Petersburg arrived in Brazil but were recalled to Russia before the Chile game.
Chile have won just one of their seven games and face two testing away matches against Ecuador on Sunday and Colombia next week.
The top four qualify automatically for Qatar and the fifth-placed side goes into an inter-regional playoff.