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By Rex Gowar

ROSARIO, Argentina, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Luis Fabiano struck twice as Brazil stunned arch-rivals Argentina 3-1 away in their World Cup qualifier on Saturday to reach the 2010 finals.

The defeat, following an opening goal for Brazil by defender Luisao, left Argentina’s chances of reaching the finals in South Africa hanging by a thread. Midfielder Jesus Datolo replied for Argentina.

Brazil lead the South American group with 30 points and three games remaining. They are more than nine points ahead of fifth and sixth-placed Colombia and Ecuador.

The top four qualify automatically while the team finishing fifth goes into a playoff against the fourth-placed team in the CONCACAF region. Argentina remain in fourth place, eight points behind Brazil, and also behind Chile and Paraguay.

It was 16 years to the day that a 5-0 drubbing by Colombia had twice world champions Argentina needing to win a playoff to reach the 1994 finals in the U.S.
 
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