Copa America 2015
Group C – Match 6 (June 21, 2015)
Estadio Monumental David Arellano, Santiago, Chile
Brazil progressed though their group at the Copa America, as Thiago Silva and Roberto Firmino scored goals in either half of the game, sealing a 2-1 win over Venezuela, who were outclassed by a resilient Brazilian side.
Neymar was replaced at the starting line-up by one-time Brazil regular Robinho, who coincidentally replaced the Brazil captain at Santos, when Neymar left for Barcelona two years ago. Robinho started the match with a foul, but avoided a booking from referee Enrique Cáceres. Gabriel Cichero came close to opening for Venezuela, but his header went just above the bar. He later conceded a corner in the 8th minute. Old boy Robinho stepped in to take the set-piece and found Thiago Silva unmarked, the defender scored a beautiful goal with a side-footed volley. 4 minutes later, Silva almost scored a second with a powerful header, but Venezuela keeper Alain Baroja kept the ball out. Brazil were difficult to contain, and Venezuela resorted to break their play by committing fouls. When the half-time whistle was blown, Brazil had won 8 free-kicks, while 2 Venezuelan players were booked.
Brazil resumed their slick passing game as the 2nd half began, and soon added their second goal as Firmino tapped in from a teasing cross, sent in by Willian using the outside of his right foot. David Luiz was later brought on to replace Firmino, to tighten Brazil’s defence, while Coutinho was replaced by Diego Tardelli in midfield. Late in the game, Thiago Silva committed a foul on Miku, and was promptly booked for his action. The free-kick was taken by Juan Arango, whose attempt was spot-on. Jefferson managed to keep the ball out, only for Miku to score from the rebound. The ensuing final minutes were tense, and Venezuela came close to equalising, but Miku could not connect well to a corner-bound cross. Dunga probably sighed with relief as the final whistle was blown shortly, ensuring he still kept his post for Brazil.
Brazil topped their group, and will play Paraguay in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, both Colombia and Peru qualified from Group C after playing out a nil-nil draw at the Estadio Municipal Germán Becker.
- Chile vs Uruguay (June 24)
- Bolivia vs Peru (June 25)
- Argentina vs Colombia (June 26)
- Brazil vs Paraguay (June 27)