Brazil kicked off a Copa America event 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 have been dropped as co-hosts.
Regardless of his opposition to staging the event in his dwelling nation, Brazil captain Casemiro stated the defending champions meant to retain their trophy.
“It may very well be a pleasant, Copa America, World Cup qualifiers, we play it to win,” he stated. “Venezuela had the thought of defending, they wished a draw. However we have been targeted and we have 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 placing from shut vary.
Brazil coach Tite — who additionally opposed holding the event — 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 suitable flank.
Ribeiro discovered Danilo on the suitable 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 suitable 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 internet within the 89th. A flop at Inter Milan and Benfica, Barbosa is a hero at Brazilian membership Flamengo, which desires him on the nationwide workforce extra usually.
Tite stated he is experimenting with mixtures, pondering forward to the World Cup in Qatar subsequent yr.
“I’m searching for tactical alternate options, positional alternate options. However working on completely different capabilities,” the Brazil coach stated. “The thought 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 carried out extra, however I’m happy with these boys. Some had their debuts for the nationwide workforce. It was an vital day, we wished to dignify Copa America and the nationwide workforce,” Peseiro stated. “It’s apparent that it (the COVID-19 outbreak) had an impression, 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 have been to play later Sunday.
Brazil’s second match can 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 can 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.