| Kaka (right) celebrates with Robinho (left) and Juan after scoring against Peru in Lima on Sunday. (AFP)
Rio de Janeiro: Kaka produced another superb strike to help Brazil draw 1-1 in Peru while Marcelo Salas scored his first international goals for more than two years in Chile’s 2-2 result in Uruguay in Sunday’s World Cup qualifiers.
Kaka scored with a 30-metre shot which dipped and swerved away from goalkeeper Diego Penny to give the five-time world champions a half-time lead in Lima. Juan Vargas equalised in the second half.
Salas, Chile’s all-time leading scorer who was recalled to the squad in August, took his international tally to 37 goals after scoring twice in 11 minutes in Montevideo.
The former Lazio and Juventus striker stopped playing altogether for the first half of the year after failing to negotiate a new contract with Universidad de Chile but rejoined the Santiago club in July to resume his career.
Uruguay, who had taken the lead through Luis Suarez, snatched a point thanks to a late equaliser from Sebastian Abreu.
Argentina, 3-0 winners over Bolivia on Saturday, are the only team with maximum points after three of the 18 rounds of games in the single South American group.
They are followed by Paraguay (7 points), Brazil and Colombia (5), Uruguay and Chile (4), Venezuela (3), Bolivia and Peru (2) and Ecuador (0).
The top four teams qualify directly for the 2010 finals in South Africa and the fifth plays off against the fourth-placed team from the Concacaf region.
Brazil could have secured all three points with the last move of the game, but Juan’s header from a Ronaldinho free-kick crashed against the crossbar.
Peru mounted an early barrage on Julio Cesar’s goal but Brazil weathered the storm and went ahead with Kaka’s third goal of the qualifiers five minutes before half-time. The AC Milan player nearly scored again with a clever chip two minutes later, but the Peru goalkeeper tipped the ball over.
Peru came back into the game and Vargas equalised with a deflected 25-metre shot in the 71st minute, the first scored by his team and conceded by Brazil in the group.
“Our performance was very good in the first half but we dropped off in the second, when we lost a lot of balls in the midfield and they were able to hit us on the break,” said coach Dunga.
Suarez gave Uruguay a 41st minute lead after they had dominated the first half in Montevideo before Salas, who scored his last international goal in June 2005, sprang into action.
He equalised by meeting Carlos Villanueva’s cross with a diving header in the 59th minute and converted a 70th minute penalty after Matias Fernandez was bundled over by Uruguay captain Diego Lugano.
Abreu salvaged a point for Uruguay with nine minutes left.
Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa conceded his team did not deserve to win.
“If we had won the match, it would not have coincided with what happened on the field of play, for which reason the point which we obtained was valuable to us,” said the former Argentina coach. (Reuters)