Brazil continue to struggle in Copa America


Colombia got their Copa America campaign up and running with a 1-0 victory over Brazil in Group C last night.

Los Cafeteros suffered a shock defeat to Venezuela in their opening game of the tournament.

However, they picked up maximum points at Santiago’s Estadio Monumental David Arellano on Wednesday night, Jeison Murillo’s goal giving them their first victory over Brazil since 1991.

The world’s fourth-ranked team deserved their success against a lethargic Brazil side – who were also unconvincing in their opening match, when they needed a late goal to edge out Peru.

Brazil went into the Colombia match with an excellent record against their opponents, winning 18 of the previous 28 matches between the teams and losing just two.

However, the Cafeteros controlled the rhythm for most of the first half and made the decisive breakthrough in the 36th minute, when defender Jeison Murillo got on the end of a loose ball and beat goalkeeper Jefferson.

Brazil squandered a great chance to level the scores in the 57th minute when poor communication between Inter Milan defender Murillo and his goalkeeper David Ospina gave Roberto Firmino the chance to level.

However, the Hoffenheim player, a reported target for Liverpool and Manchester United, shot over the unguarded goal.

Colombia held on to earn sweet revenge for their World Cup quarter-final defeat to Brazil last summer.

There was controversy after the final whistle, when Neymar and Colombia substitute Carlos Bacca were dismissed following an on-field spat – ruling both out of Sunday’s final round of group matches.

With Venezuela guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals if they defeat Peru on Thursday, both Brazil and Colombia will face a nervy finale as they seek to ensure progress into the last eight. Brazil face Venezuela, while Colombia take on Peru.

Brazil’s Barcelona left-back Dani Alves told the O’Globo television network afterwards: “We created the chances and had a really clear opportunity to equalise – but we did not have a good night.

“We knew that it was going to be hard, but that is the Copa America. In this tournament you have to fight to conquer your aims.

“We all play in great clubs so we are used to huge challenges. That is something that benefits us.”

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