Brazil kicked off a Copa America match that has been opposed by some members of its personal workforce with a 3-Zero win over Venezuela on Sunday.
Marquinhos, Neymar and Gabriel Barbosa scored within the opener at Mané Garrincha stadium in Brasilia, lower than a day after a number of Venezuelan gamers examined optimistic for COVID-19.
South American soccer’s governing physique, CONMEBOL, selected Brazil as host lower than two weeks in the past, regardless of its alarming COVID-19 figures, after Argentina and Colombia had been dropped as co-hosts.
Regardless of his opposition to staging the match in his dwelling nation, Brazil captain Casemiro stated the defending champions meant to retain their trophy.
“It might be a pleasant, Copa America, World Cup qualifiers, we play it to win,” he stated. “Venezuela had the concept of defending, they needed a draw. However we had been targeted and we had been aggressive within the final third of the pitch.”
Venezuela summoned 15 new gamers at brief discover after eight squad members examined optimistic for COVID-19 on Saturday, and the disruption confirmed on the sector. The Seleção wasted alternatives however confronted little resistance from Venezuela.
Brazil opened the scoring within the 23rd minute after a nook kick ended with Marquinhos hanging from shut vary.
Brazil coach Tite — who additionally opposed holding the match — took Lucas Paquetá off at halftime, however stored Roberto Firmino on the bench. As a substitute, Everton Ribeiro went on and supplied extra dynamism on the precise flank.
Ribeiro discovered Danilo on the precise fringe of the field, and the Brazilian was pushed to the bottom. Neymar calmly scored from the spot within the 63rd to make it 2-0. He appeared to the precise of Venezuelan goalkeeper Joel Graterol, however took his shot to the left.
Neymar dribbled previous Graterol and crossed for Barbosa to chest the ball into the empty web within the 89th. A flop at Inter Milan and Benfica, Barbosa is a hero at Brazilian membership Flamengo, which needs him on the nationwide workforce extra usually.
Tite stated he is experimenting with combos, considering forward to the World Cup in Qatar subsequent yr.
“I’m in search of tactical alternate options, positional alternate options. However working on completely different features,” the Brazil coach stated. “The concept is to not lose our character, in any other case you break the hyperlinks, the connections, you take away confidence from the athletes.”
Venezuela coach José Peseiro stated he was impressed by his gamers overcoming so many difficulties.
“We might have performed extra, however I’m happy with these boys. Some had their debuts for the nationwide workforce. It was an necessary day, we needed to dignify Copa America and the nationwide workforce,” Peseiro stated. “It’s apparent that it (the COVID-19 outbreak) had an affect, however that does not cease me from being joyful for his or her will, their effort.”
Brazil and Venezuela are in Group B with Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The 4 finest groups in every group advance to the knockout stage. Colombia and Ecuador had been to play later Sunday.
Brazil’s second match will likely be in opposition to Peru on Thursday on the Nilton Santos stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Venezuela will face Colombia on the identical day on the Olimpico stadium in Goiania.
The ultimate of the South American championship will likely be on July 10 on the historic Maracanã stadium in Rio, which additionally hosted the ultimate two years in the past when Brazil beat Peru 3-1 to win its ninth title.