Brazil’s unbeaten World Cup 2018 qualifying run under Tite continued courtesy of a goalless draw with hosts Bolivia at the Estadio Hernando Siles in La Paz this evening.
Having already booked their place at next year’s tournament in Russia, Brazil were looking to beat Bolivia in an away qualifying fixture for the first time since 1985, but were unable to find a way past an inspired Carlos Lampe in the home goal.
Playing at such high altitude impacted proceedings from the off, as Brazil sought to work in short exchanges outside the Bolivian box, eventually leaving Neymar and Paulinho to exchange a clever one-two, before being dispossessed by Gabriel Valverde.
It took the best part of 30 minutes for Brazil to carve out a clear-cut chance, and it fell to Neymar who broke clean through on goal only to be thwarted by a sprawling save from Bolivian stopper Lampe.
The conditions provided a stern test for Tite’s charges on the road, but they again created before the interval as Neymar rounded Lampe in the box, only to see his well-struck finished headed off the line by a retreating Valverde.
Neymar was perhaps Brazil’s most threatening spark in the opening period and he should have opened the scoring before the interval, although Lampe was equal to his efforts once more with a strong diving save to deny the Paris Saint-Germain frontman.
Bolivia offered little going forward yet it was the hosts who almost snatched the advantage on the stroke of half time, Leonel Justiniano unleashing from range before seeing his stinging effort cannon back off the crossbar with Alisson beaten.
Brazil began the second period with a renewed energy and it was Gabriel Jesus who this time came closest to putting the visitors in front, the striker flicking on a cross that bounced back off the woodwork.
Despite already being qualified, Tite’s men continued to push themselves in a difficult climate and they were almost rewarded when Neymar got the better of the defence, only for Lampe to come to the rescue once again down low as the encounter finished goalless.