Brazil Opens Copa America With 3-0 Win Against Venezuela
Brazil opened the 2021 Copa America with a 3-0 win against Venezuela on Sunday, dominating their inexperienced opponents from start to finish in a one-sided match.
The Copa America was moved to Brazil with just two weeks notice after co-hosts Colombia were removed due to a wave of civil unrest, and Argentina pulled out because of a COVID-19 surge there.
Brazilian defender Marquinhos scored the opening goal midway through the first half when he was fortunate to see his backheel squeeze through a defender’s legs and into the net.
The hosts continued to press and were rewarded in the 64th minute of the second half after a penalty was awarded when Danilo was brought down in the box.
Neymar stepped up and netted his 67th international goal from the penalty spot to extend the lead for the hosts.
Venezuela have never beaten Brazil in a competitive match and the hosts were looking to extend that record. After misses numerous chances, striker Richarlison made way for Gabriel Barbosa in the 65th minute.
In the closing minutes, substitute Gabriel Barbosa made it three with two minutes remaining when he chested home a cross from Neymar after the tireless Paris St Germain player had rounded the keeper.
It was an emphatic 3-0 victory for Brazil as they looked to be crowned champions of South America after an outstanding ninety minutes against Venezuela
“We knew we were going to come across a Venezuela that shut up shop and make it difficult for us to play,” Marquinhos said. “But thanks be to God we were able to score in the first half and that helped us.”
“We know how important it is to score goals, especially in a game like this. Here the first goal is so important to open the game up and force your opponent to play a bit more.”
Brazil’s next game is against Peru on June 17, while Venezuela take on Colombia the same day.
Copa America results
Brazil 3-0 Venezuela
Colombia 1-0 Ecuador