By 90Min
June 17, 2019

The Copa America started with a bang with this weekend, as the great, the good, and the downright awful of South American football faced off against one another...and Japan...and Qatar too. 

And after Argentina did what they do best against Colombia (lose), attention turned to other pre-tournament favourites Brazil and Uruguay. 


Brazil 3-0 Bolivia

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It was a frustrating first half for Seleção, who seemed to have chance after chance after chance but to no avail, thanks to a resilient Bolivian defence. Perhaps understandably, an irritated crowd booed Brazil off at half-time.

The deadlock was broken five minutes into the second half when Bolivia conceded a penalty thanks to a Jusino handball. Philippe Coutinho, despite a stuttering run-up, slotted the ball into the left corner to give Brazil the lead they really needed.

This goal seemed to bring Brazil back to life, and they scored again just three minutes later; when Roberto Firminio crossed the ball into his former Liverpool teammate Philippe Coutinho, who headed it home to give Seleção a two goal lead.

Grêmio striker Everton sealed the win after he scored a spectacular goal from outside the box in the 85th minute.

Overall, not an entirely satisfactory performance from the Brazilians, but it did prove that they could cope without Neymar and should bolster their confidence ahead of Wednesday's showdown with Venezuela. Bolivia will be pleased that they managed to hold off Brazil's attack for so long but will be conscious they are the underdogs going into their remaining games against Venezuela and Peru.   


Paraguay 2-2 Qatar

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Qatar made the worst possible start to their first appearance in the Copa América, conceding an Óscar Cardozo penalty after just four minutes thanks to a handball by defender Pedro Miguel. 


Qatar recovered though and both sides had good chances throughout the rest of the first half. Terek Salman went down in the box after 25 minutes and close-up footage revealed a pretty pathetic attempt at a dive. Needless to say, the Al-Sadd defender went into the book. 


Paraguay looked to have put the game to bed early in the second half, with Cardozo scoring a second. This went to VAR who ultimately judged the goal to have been offside, which wasn't well received by the Los Guaraníes fans. 


Their unhappiness wouldn't last for long, however, as Derlis González scored a magnificent goal from outside the box just four minutes later to give Paraguay a 2-0 lead.


Qatar fought back valiantly, with a spectacular Almoez Ali strike in the 68th minute to give the Maroons a fighting chance.


It just wasn't to be for Paraguay, who conceded an own goal in the 77th minute and the game ended all square. 


Paraguay will probably come away from this draw feeling frustrated. This was a must-win game and the pressure will now be on for them to get good results against Colombia and Argentina in order to stand a chance of qualifying for the knockout round. Qatar will leave this game with their heads held high, having proven they're no pushovers. 


Uruguay 4-0 Ecuador

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Ecuador conceded just six minutes into the match, courtesy of a beautiful strike from Seattle Sounders midfielder 

Matters got worse for Los Amarillos when defender José Quintero was sent off after he elbowed Lodeiro in the 24th minute. The incident was initially judged to be a yellow card, but following a VAR review, the L.D.U Quito player was given his marching orders.

The game was effectively over after that. Down to ten men, Ecuador conceded another in the 33rd minute after Diego Godin headed the ball down to Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani, who volleyed the ball in.

Uruguay continued to dominate, with the ball rarely leaving Ecuador's half. Barcelona's Luis Suárez scored just before half-time to all but guarantee a Uruguay win. 

It was by comparison, a quieter second half. Uruguay had taken their foot off the gas a little bit but still dominated. Ecuador's humiliation was complete when Arturo Mina scored an own goal in the 78th minute to seal Uruguay's victory. 

Uruguay couldn't have dreamed of a better start to their Copa América, already a hot favourite going into the tournament, underwhelming performances by Argentina and Brazil will give this team faith that they can go on to win it. Ecuador, on the other hand, will be glad to have got their hardest fixture out of the way and know they must step up their game if they are to reach the knockout stages. 

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)