Watch all the key plays as Brazil and Peru play for the 2019 Copa America title.

By Avi Creditor
July 07, 2019

Brazil has earned the right to lift a major trophy on home soil after beating Peru 3-1 in the Copa America final at the storied Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

Gabriel Jesus scored and assisted on a goal before being sent off, and Everton Soares scored one and drew a penalty for Richarlison's clincher, which gave Brazil its first Copa America title since 2007.

Playing without the injured Neymar, Brazil rolled through the competition, going 4-0-1 between the group and knockout stages without conceding a goal leading into the final. One of those wins was a 5-0 thrashing of Peru in their group finale, and the Seleção beat La Blanquirroja again, albeit with more trouble, as it looked to celebrate in front of their home fans in Rio much like they did after the gold medal match of the 2016 Olympics.

Peru was hoping to play spoiler. In the final for the first time in 44 years, Ricardo Gareca's side impressed throughly by defeating two-time reigning champion Chile 3-0 in the semifinals and put up a stronger fight than their initial meeting with Brazil, with a rare opportunity at winning a trophy on the line. 

Peru fired the first warning shot not even two minutes in. Christian Cueva took a free kick for Peru from long range and whizzed it over the wall, having it go tantalizingly wide of Alisson's goal, though the diving Brazilian goalkeeper appeared to have it lined up had it been on target.

The opening minutes were otherwise defined by choppy, physical play, with Peru refusing to let Brazil get into any attacking rhythm, fouling when necessary to break up any Seleção movement forward.

Brazil opened the scoring with its first real opportunity in the final third. Jesus was the architect, beating multiple defenders and displaying tremendous skill on the ball before curling a cross to the back post for Everton. The in-demand Gremio star was clinical with his first-time finish, giving Brazil the 1-0 lead in the 15th minute.

Roberto Firmino came close to doubling the lead in the 36th minute. Alex Sandro sent in a dangerous deep cross from the, and the Liverpool star got his head to it, only to put it over the bar of Pedro Gallese's goal.

Brazil appeared as if it would get to halftime with the lead–until disaster struck for the hosts. Thiago Silva went to ground to block a cross in the Brazil box, but the ball caught his arm that was bracing his landing, a clear handball. Paolo Guerrero stepped up to the spot and scored, marking the first time Brazil had conceded all tournament and making it 1-1 in the process.

That respite didn't last long for Peru. In first-half stoppage time, Jesus scored to restore Brazil's lead. After the hosts pounced on a turnover in the Peru half, the Man City star took a pass from Arthur, slipped by a Peru defender and delivered a calm finish from inside the box to make it 2-1 heading into the break.

Philippe Coutinho came close to extending the lead to 3-1 in the 51st minute, chipping just wide of the goal after an impressive show of footwork at the edge of the Peru box.

Peru was given a lifeline in the 70th minute, when Jesus was sent off. He picked up his second yellow card of the match and was incredulous and he was given his marching orders. That gave Peru a man advantage for the final 20 minutes while removing the player who has arguably been Brazil's best at this Copa America. TV cameras caught Jesus sitting in the players' tunnel, crying and gesturing toward the referee.

Peru nearly struck even a few minutes later. Edison Flores had a clear look from long range after a clearance attempt wasn't fully dealt with, but his chance whizzed by the left post, as a diving Alisson watched it go by. 

Brazil pushed for an insurance goal in the final stages, and it was given the opportunity to do so from the penalty spot. Everton weaved through the Peru defense before being bumped hard on a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge in the 87th minute. That was enough for the referee to whistle for the penalty, and after a VAR review, Richarlison put the match out of reach with a clinical penalty low and to the left corner.


Here were the lineups for both teams:

Brazil won't have long to defend the title, with the next Copa America being held next summer, co-hosted by Argentina and Colombia. CONMEBOL is shifting its calendar to align each Copa America with the same summer as the European Championship is played, two years into each new World Cup cycle. The subsequent Copa America, set for 2024, will take play in Ecuador.

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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)