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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Copa America: VAR penalty, Coutinho brace help Brazil beat Bolivia

Both sides were poor in the first period but the game briefly came alive five minutes into the second half when Coutinho slotted home a VAR-assisted penalty.

football Updated: Jun 15, 2019 10:12 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Sao Paulo
Brazil's Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring their second goal with Richarlison
Brazil's Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring their second goal with Richarlison (REUTERS)
         

Philippe Coutinho scored a second half double and Everton added a cracking third as Brazil recovered from a sleepy start to beat Bolivia 3-0 in their Copa America opener on Friday.

Both sides were poor in the first period but the game briefly came alive five minutes into the second half when Coutinho slotted home a VAR-assisted penalty.

Coutinho grabbed a second with a close-range header three minutes later before Everton rifled home a third from outside the box with five minutes remaining.

The match was the first of this year’s tournament, which is being held in Brazil for the first time since 1989. All 10 South American teams are participating along with guest nations Qatar and Japan.

Brazil, who stared with Roberto Firmino up front and Fernandinho in midfield in place of the injured Arthur, failed to inspire the strangely subdued crowd of just 46,342 at Sao Paulo’s Morumbi stadium.

Wearing white shirts for the first time in more than 60 years, the home side huffed and puffed but rarely threatened and even after they went 2-0 up, they looked devoid of ideas and urgency.

Bolivia, who last won the title in 1963, rarely threatened at the other end.

Peru play Venezuela in Porto Alegre on Saturday in the second Group A game. Brazil’s next match is against Venezuela in Salvador next Tuesday.

First Published: Jun 15, 2019 09:04 IST