Paulinho in action against Ecuador on Thursday | FIFA.COM

Paulinho contributed the first of Brazil’s two goals in Thursday’s World Cup qualifier against Ecuador, and featured in all 90 minutes of a win that mathematically ensures that his country will finish top of the South American qualifying zone – having already clinched their tickets for Russia 2018 before the game had even started.

The goal came midway through the second half when the Barça midfielder got on the end of a clearance from a corner and powerfully put the ball in the back of the net. It was his nith goal for Brazil and his fifth of the current qualifying campaign.

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