The group was identical with Group B of the 1987 Copa América, which Chile had won ahead of Brazil, actually beating the famous yellow and light blue by 4-0 on that occasion. 

There was little doubt that Brazil were favourites, though. They were the only country to have reached each and every one of the 13 previous World Cups, and they would take something special by the Chileans to stop on this occasion, too. Still, it would be interesting to see how the Brazilians would look to shape ahead of their next tournament participation, as they were about to exit a decade which, World Cup-wise, had promised so much, yet delievered so little for that football-crazed nation. Their Copa América triumph on home soil would have brought about plenty of optimism and installed loads of confidence into the group of players which Sebastião Lazaroni had available to him. 

Chile, on the other hand, had failed to get out of their group during the Copa, and they were probably a bit of an unknown quantity, despite the fact that they were still having the same manager which had overseen their two most recent continental championships: Orlando Aravena. Their second-place success in Argentina ’87 still lingered as a relatively fresh memory, even if some negativity would surely have replaced that following the most recent of events. 

Venezuela would’ve harboured little hope other than giving their two opponents a scare or two during games. A point would be sensational. A couple of goals along the way was probably their most likely achievement. To avoid shipping a bucketload must also have been a target, though there had clearly been weaknesses in their defence during the Copa América. Could Carlos Moreno rectify this in time for the qualification? 


Match 1
30.07.1989: Venezuela 0-4 Brazil
Estadio Brígido Iriarte (Caracas)
In their unusual 3-4-3, Brazil fail to produce enough midfield power to make this a comfortable passage, although they will adjust during the half time break, a goal up thanks to Branco’s excellent low drive from distance, to seize a stronger grip on the proceedings in the second half. Venezuela, who had been composed and collected defensively first half, would show cracks and frailty in the second, and Brazil would ultimately rack up a convincing win, despite the goalkeeping heroics from Venezuela custodian Baena.

Match 2
06.08.1989: Venezuela 1-3 Chile
Estadio Brígido Iriarte (Caracas)
Chile do like Brazil and score early in the Venezuelan capital. The goal is the prelude to an entertaining game, where there’s plenty of goalmouth action. Aravena’s second strike is a world class free-kick. Hosts attempt a second half come-back, and are spirited until they get their goal through substitute Fernández. They had looked much improved in 4-3-3, having started the game in 5-3-2. Chile have a goalscoring substitute of their own, and Zamorano’s goal for 1-3 is the final of the game. They could have added more were it not for some big stops by Baena late on.

Match 3
13.08.1989: Chile 1-1 Brazil
Estadio Nacional (Santiago)
An action-packed tie ended with a goal apiece as both teams had players sent off in the opening quarter of an hour. The point is probably more valuable to Brazil than to Chile, with the latter now likely to need a win when going to Rio de Janeiro early next month. Ormeño should’ve walked when he brutally hacked Branco down, Romário saw red for punching Hisis, and then Ormeño followed suit few minutes later after a foul on Valdo. Brazil went in front after a weird own goal, but paid the price for sitting back trying to defend their lead. An inspired Chile drew level late on in controversial circumstances, as Basay hit home from close range after an indirect free-kick inside the six yard box. Bebeto unlucky to have goal disallowed with Brazil 1-0 up already. 

Match 4 
20.08.1989: Brazil 6-0 Venezuela
Estádio do Morumbi (São Paolo)
“Goals galore!” That was on Brazil manager Lazaroni’s menu for the afternoon in São Paulo. And goals galore is what he got. They must have been pleased with both the amount and certainly also with the way they played, as they completely destroyed poor Venezuela. While four goals arrived in the first half, the hosts’ dominance was even greater after the break, when they created so many opportunities it was almost embarrassing how they didn’t score until Careca’s brace late on, taking his tally to four for the afternoon. Not a bad day at the office for Romário’s replacement, as the Netherlands based ace was suspended following the brawl in Chile last week. 

Match 5
27.08.1989: Chile 5-0 Venezuela
Estadio Malvinas Argentinas (neutral ground in Mendoza, Argentina)
Played across the Argentina border in Mendoza, ‘hosts’ Chile had been hoping to hit Venezuela for eight and thus overtake Brazil in the table. They had brought experienced striker Letelier into the team due to the fellow absence of Rubio and Zamorano, and the La Serena forward would finish with a hat-trick to his name. Venezuela displayed some first half aggression, and though left-back Cavallo should’ve walked for repeated offences, they ultimately escaped with ‘only’ four bookings. Visitors managed to keep the scoreline about as low as the Brazilians would’ve wanted, though the Chileans should have added to their tally towards the end of a late rampant second half spell. Midfielder Vera the great architect behind their performance. 

Match 6
03.09.1989: Brazil 2-0 Chile
Estádio do Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro)

Final table





Number of players used:
Number of players including unused substitutes:
Ever-presents (360 minutes):
Leading goalscorer:
Yellow/red cards:

Goalscorers (22)


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