JOHANNESBURG — The next World Cup will be played in South America.
Most of the rest of this one will be played by South America.
Even before Brazil's 3-0 rout of Chile on Monday at Ellis Park, South American teams were guaranteed spots in three of the four quarterfinals. And if Paraguay beats Japan in its second-round game Tuesday afternoon, four South American teams will be among the final eight.
That leaves open the possibility of all-South American semifinals — which has never happened — and an all-South American final, which hasn't happened in 60 years.
Just don't ask anyone to explain why the continent is suddenly the most dominant on Earth at Earth's most popular game.
"I don't really know," said Chile's normally thoughtful Marcelo Bielsa, the only South American coach who has lost in this tournament.
Monday's match wasn't so much a game as it was a clinic with Brazil taking control on first-half goals from Juan and Luis Fabiano that came three minutes apart. It then put the game away 14 minutes into the second half on a pretty goal by Robinho, who buried a 20-foot shot just inside the far post.
If it were a prize fight, Bielsa admitted he would have thrown in a towel from his corner.
"Brazil's superiority was too much for us. We were unable to slow them down," he said. "It's hard to adapt to an opponent when there's such a big gap in quality."
And guess what? Brazil can get better.
"We have to improve in all facets of our play," coach Dunga said.
Brazil got the only goal it would need in the 35th minute when center back Juan got well above the crowd on a corner kick, heading the ball into the upper-left corner.
Fabiano doubled the lead minutes later, taking a touch pass from Kaka and rounding the goalie before pushing the ball into the open net.
And with Chile managing just three shots on goal on the night — only one of which was a real threat — that 2-0 lead must have looked like a mountain to Bielsa's team.
"Brazil manages to score every third attack," Bielsa complained.
Robinho added another goal anyway — his first in a World Cup.