Brazil starts the Copa America under the victory against Venezuela Football news


Neymar, with a goal and an assist, helps the hosts open the campaign with a 3-0 victory over Brasilia.

Brazil kicked off the 2021 Copa America with a 3-0 win over Venezuela, which suffered COVID as the so-called tournament kicked off on Sunday in Brasilia.

Marquinhos, Neymar and Gabriel Barbosa scored on Sunday in the opening match of the Mane Garrincha stadium, less than a day after several Venezuelan players tested positive for COVID-19.

The governing body of South American football, CONMEBOL, chose Brazil as host two weeks ago despite its alarming COVID-19 figures, after Argentina and Colombia were abandoned as co-hosts.

Neymar dribbled past Graterol and crossed Barbosa with the ball into the empty net in the 89th minute. [Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters]

Despite his opposition to organizing the tournament in his home country, Brazilian captain Casemiro said the current champions intended to keep their trophy.

“It could be a friendly match, a knockout of the America’s Cup or the World Cup, we play it to win,” Casemiro said after his team’s victory.

“Venezuela had the idea of ​​defending itself, they wanted a draw. But we were focused and aggressive in the last third of the pitch. “

Venezuela called up 15 new players on short notice after eight members of the squad tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, and the interruption manifested itself on the field.

Brazil opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after a corner that ended with Marquinhos from the front.

Brazilian coach Tite, who also opposed the tournament, took Lucas Paqueta to the break, but kept Roberto Firmino on the bench. Everton Ribeiro on the other hand, had a terrible day.

Ribeiro found Danilo on the right edge of the box, and the Brazilian was pushed to the ground. Neymar calmly scored from the spot in the 63rd to make it 2-0.

Neymar dribbled in front of Graterol and crossed for Barbosa to drop the ball into the empty net in the 89th minute to seal the home side’s victory.

Elsewhere, Edwin Cardona scored the only goal of the match, while Colombia kept up the pressure in the second half to start their Group B campaign with a 1-0 victory over Ecuador.

Edwin Cardona scored the only goal of the match when Colombia beat Ecuador 1-0 [Carla Carniel/Reuters]

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