Brazil defeated Peru 1-0 in their Copa America semifinal match at the Estadio Nilton Santos Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday to advance to the final.
In the first half, the hosts were stubborn. Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain and Richarlison from Everton tried to score in the 18th minute. However, Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese was able to deny both players and made key saves throughout, despite the loss.
Thanks to Lucas Paqueta, Brazil finally reached the scoreboard. With some clever footwork, Neymar was able to overcome three defenders before he crossed the ball to his teammate. He scored in the 34th minute.
Peru tried to equalize in the second period, with Benevento striker Gianluca Lapadula forcing Ederson into a crucial save at the 49-minute mark. However, Peru failed to take advantage of any opportunities.
“Brazil will win”
Brazil is the defending champion and they beat Peru to claim the trophy in 2019. They now want to win their 10th Copa America title.
The host will face the winner of Wednesday’s second semifinal match between Lionel Messi’s Argentina or Colombia.
Neymar stated, “I want Argentina. I am cheering them up.” “I have friends there and Brazil will win in the final.”
The last time the sides met in Copa America was in 2007. Brazil beat Argentina 3-0 with two goals by Dani Alves and Julio Baptista. Roberto Ayala, former Argentina captain, scored their own goal.
South America’s most prestigious football competition has been mired in controversy due to Brazil struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic. On July 5, there were more than 18.7 million cases and 524,400 deaths.
The public support for the competition is divided. Players have also voiced concerns about Messi, the Argentine superstar, contracting the virus while playing with the national team.
In June, the Brazilian national team players and their staff posted a letter to their social media accounts. It criticizes the tournament’s organization but confirms their participation.
According to Brazil’s health ministry, there were at least 140 Covid-19 cases found in June, nine days after the start of the tournament.
The draw is set for Sunday, July 11th, and promises to be an exciting match at the iconic Maracana stadium Rio de Janeiro.