Late goal lifts Peru 1-0, eliminates Brazil in Copa America
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Peru's recent history against Brazil is marked by lots of losses and a few missed opportunities.
That changed in a big way Sunday night with the help from a fortunate non-call.
Peru stunned Brazil 1-0, eliminating the soccer power from Copa America on a late goal by Raul Ruidiaz that may have been a hand ball. It was Peru's first victory over the perennial power since 1985, and gave Peru the Group B title and a quarterfinal match against Colombia on Friday.
Dominated for most of the game, Peru's Andy Polo managed a takeaway and crossed to Ruidiaz in the box. He deflected the ball into the net, and Brazil keeper Alisson immediately complained the ball also made contact with Ruidiaz's hand. After a lengthy discussion by referees, the goal was allowed in the 75th minute.
"Perhaps Brazil at one point had the upper hand," Peru coach Ricardo Gareca said. "You have to be able to defend well. Peru did a good job of defending and when the time was right for us to attack we attacked."
Ruidiaz's goal came just about 10 minutes after he subbed in for Edison Flores.
Asked if he thought the goal should have been allowed, Gareca declined offer an opinion saying he hadn't seen the replays.
"This is part of the margin of error that exist in every game," he said.
Peru had 10 losses and six draws against Brazil since 1985. Brazil is eliminated after reaching at least the quarterfinals of every Copa America since 1993.
"It was a very disputed game. At the end of the game things happened that aren't dependent on the coaches or players," Brazil coach Dunga said. "They took four minutes to talk about the play. There's no way for the player or coach to influence that."
While the group stage loss could also put Dunga's job in jeopardy, he said he wasn't thinking about his job security.
"I only fear death," Dunga said.
He was definitive in saying the goal was a missed call on the referee's part.
"The fans saw how Brazil was eliminated, the goal was scored with his hand," he said.
Ecuador locked up second place in Group B with its 4-0 win over Haiti in Sunday's early game, and will play Group A winner United States on Thursday in Seattle.
Brazil made a handful of lineup changes, starting Lucas Lima in place of suspended midfielder Casemiro. In addition, defender Miranda got the nod over Marquinhos, and forward Gabriel Barbosa started in place of Jonas.
Brazil controlled the pace in the first half, but wasn't able to complete any of its attacks all night.
In the 27th minute, Elias found Barbosa with a quick cross, but goalkeeper Pedro Gallese got enough of his fingertips on the ball to tap away Barbosa's left-footed shot toward the left corner of the net.
Then in the 36th minute, Filipe Luis got the ball to a cutting Willian as he found some space at the top of the box. Willian couldn't get off a controlled shot, though, and his attempt sailed wide left.
Gallese came through again a few minutes later, deflecting another Barbosa shot over the top of the crossbar.
Peru had no shots on goal in the first half and struggled to set up chances. Meanwhile, top scorer Jose Guerrero battled through a pair of collisions that sent him to the turf.
In the second incident, in the 29th minute, Guerrero needed attention from the training staff after he was sent to the ground by a knee to the midsection from Gil, and then was kicked in the leg as he tried to clear the ball.
Peru's best scoring opportunity came in a flurry just before the end of the half when Flores got free in box, and appeared to be tripped by Miranda but didn't receive a foul call.
Dunga said he was confident Brazil will recover from this latest setback, and urged that no one rush to judgment.
"We are going through a transition period and we have to be patient," he said. "We Brazilians don't have patience. We want a solution overnight, but that can't happen."
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