Peru ousts Brazil from Copa America on controversial handball goal

Monday June 13th, 2016

After the chaos subsided and the call was, at long last, made, Peru had its goal, and Brazil was dealt its premature Copa America exit. 

Raul Ruidiaz's goal in the 75th minute sent Peru to the top of Group B and the Copa America quarterfinals after a 1-0 win at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Brazil entered the match knowing a win or a draw would be good enough to win the group and move on, but it failed to secure the result, allowing room for controversy to rear its head. Which it did. 

Andy Polo's cross was clearly handled into the goal by Ruidiaz, who used the equivalent of a clothesline wrestling maneuver to get the ball by Brazil goalkeeper Alisson and into the back of the net. Chaos ensured shortly thereafter. Referee Andres Cunha appeared to be talking to another official over his headset and his assistant referee to decide what to do. There's no instant replay for calls such as this, so there was no way he could've been receiving advice on what to do after more looks at the play. Cunha and his staff took many minutes to discuss, while shooing off players who were furious at the indecision. 

In the end, the goal was given, and Peru, rightfully or not, will play Colombia in the quarterfinals at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Friday, while Brazil, which left a number of its first-choice players off this roster, is headed home, where it will prep for August's Olympics in Rio.

It was Peru's first win over Brazil since 1985, and it ensures that Brazil won't add a ninth Copa America title to its trophy case. 

The incident was also the second goal controversy involving Brazil in three games. In the opener against Ecuador, it was ruled that a ball was fully over the end line before Ecuador's Miler Bolaños could cross. His ball was flubbed into Brazil's on net by Alisson, but the goal was not given.

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