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Copa America Group B: No Neymar, but Brazil still favored
0:35 | Planet Futbol
Copa America Group B: No Neymar, but Brazil still favored
SI Staff
Sunday June 5th, 2016

While Neymar watched from the Rose Bowl suites with Jamie Foxx and Justin Bieber, Brazil labored to a 0-0 draw with Ecuador to open play in Copa America Group B.

A controversial call wiped a would-be Ecuador goal off the board, and Lucas Moura's late glancing header missed just wide, as the two South American powers each took a point out of the opening game. Peru's narrow 1-0 win over Haiti puts the Peruvians in first place in the group after one game apiece. 

Brazil, playing without a host of stars (Neymar is joined by Douglas Costa, David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Marcelo and Luis Gustavo on the Copa America sidelines), was led by the likes of Willian, Philippe Coutinho and Casemiro. Ecuador, meanwhile, was without injured leading striker Felipe Caicedo, but Miler Bolaños made up for his absence by creating a pair of dangerous chances. The first one came within the first five minutes, as he curled a 20-yard effort just wide of Alisson's post.

That was answered almost immediately by Coutinho, after Willian's strong dribble and cross from the right found him at the edge of the six-yard box. Esteban Dreer made a strong reaction save, though, to keep Brazil off the board:

Coutinho missed on a wicked swerving blast later in the first half, and Neymar didn't take too kind to the miss, reacting while Foxx sat to his left:

While Brazil played on, Neymar moved from celebrity to celebrity, rekindling his apparent friendship with Bieber:

With about 25 minutes remaining, Brazil appeared to catch a break. A cross that Bolaños sent in toward goal was ruled to have gone completely out over the end line. It was incredibly close, and if it hadn't then Ecuador would've had a goal. Alisson flubbed it into his own goal, but it was after the referee had made his call:

Lucas Moura nearly stole the three points for Brazil, but his glancing header went just wide in the 83rd minute:

Brazil plays Haiti next, while Ecuador will play Peru.

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