Paraguay succumbed to the altitude of La Paz as they were defeated 3-1 by Bolivia with two strikes from Pablo Escobar providing the difference.
The pitch at the Hernando Siles stadium was in terrible condition but that did not stop Gustavo Quinteros' side from taking the lead after just 10 minutes. Alcides Pena's volley from inside the box seemed destined to go closer to the corner flag it took a wicked deflection off of Adalberto Ramon and Justo Villar was unable to keep it out.
The game was fairly evenly contested but as it wore on the visitors became increasingly lethargic and Escobar made the most of it in the closing stages of the game. Gualberto Mojica missed a penalty for the hosts but with 70 minutes on the clock Escobar picked the ball up on the left before dribbling into the box and unleashing a teriffic strike that beat Villar. Ten minutes later he met Marcelo Martin's cross at the back post to stab in the game's third goal.
Paraguay pulled one back through Cristian Riveros who drilled the ball into the back of the net in the dying stages but it was not enough to stop Bolivia from moving above them to seventh place on goal difference. However, La Verde could face disciplinary action for having coach Quinteros on the touchline despite being sent off in the previous fixture against Chile.
Chile left it late to secure a valuable 2-0 victory over Venezuela in Puerto la Cruz that sent them to the top of the group.
The Vinotinto began by pressing Chile high up the pitch from the early stage and forced them deep into their own half. The home crowd soon roared triumphantly when Grenddy Perozo nodded in from a free kick only to see the assistant referee raise his flag and rule the goal out for offside. Chile soon got a foothold in the game and eked out chances to shoot through Marcelo Diaz, Matias Fernandez and Eugenio Mena who were all unable to trouble Renny Vega. Juan Arango's ferocious strike that whislted past the post was Venezuela's best chance shortly before the break.
The second half offered more of the same but Humberto Suazo came closest of anyone to breaking the deadlock when he rattled the post after working some space in the area. Claudio Borghi's men continued to create the better chances with Venezuela finding attacking opportunities limited as possession remained elusive. With 15 minutes remaining Fernandez's deflected cross almost caught Vega out and the keeper was forced to claw the ball of the line. After hitting the post moments later, Fernandez finally found net with just five minutes remaining after pouncing on the ball in the area and striking across goal. There was still time for the visitors to add another after some excellent interplay between Sebastian Pinto and Charles Aranguiz ended with a cutback for the Universidad de Chile midfielder to slide in from the edge of the six-yard box.
The win puts Chile two points clear of Argentina at the top of the group but the Albiceleste hold a game in hand. The Vinotinto will be disappointed to have surrendered the game so late on and could drop out of the top four depending on the result between Ecuador and Colombia.
Uruguay could go second in the table if they manage to beat Peru who have fallen to the foot of the group after Bolivia's win over Paraguay.
Oscar Tabarez will be able to call upon all his star players and will be eager to put in an improved performance to the one they offered the home crowd last weekend when they drew with Venezuela.
Peru however are missing some key players, particularly in the shape of Claudio Pizarro and Jefferson Farfan. The latter of the pair made a late appearance in the defeat to Colombia but is unlikely to start for Sergio Makarian's side. They will be desperate to pick up some points having lost their last three consecutive qualifiers.
Kick off at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo is at 20:30CET on Sunday June 10.
It is set to be a tense affair in Quito with just one point separating Ecuador and Colombia who both sit on the fringes of the top four.
Three points for either side could see them move well into the upper echelons of the table and Reinaldo Rueda will hope his side can make the most of their home advantage after suffering a resounding 4-0 defeat to a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina last weekend.
Colombia will hope that James Rodriguez, Dorlan Pabon and Radamel Falcao can find their scoring boots as Jose Pekerman's side have only managed five goals so far in qualification. If other results go their way then a win could see them join Argentina on 10 points at the top of the group.
Kick off at the Olimpico Atahualpa stadium is at 23:00CET on Sunday June 10.