Buenos Aires:Argentina have shocked World Cup champions Brazil defeating them 3-1 in their World Cup qualifier. With swift passing and clinical precision, the Argentines clearly had the upper hand. The Argentines joined Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea as the first nations to qualify for next year's finals, along with host Germany, an automatic qualifier in the 32-nation field. Two goals from striker Hernan Crespo led Argentina. Crespo scored in the third and 39th minutes, and Juan Roman Riquelme added another in the 18th in a showdown between the two powerhouses, winners of seven World Cup championships. Roberto Carlos scored Brazil's goal in the 71st. Argentina, World Cup winners in 1978 and 1986, have qualified for their ninth successive World Cup. They stretched its lead of the 10-team South American qualifying group to 31 points after 15 rounds, with defending champion Brazil second on 27, Ecuador third with 23, followed by Paraguay at 22. Three rounds remain.
(With AP inputs)