An heart-pounding final strike from Brazil substitute Douglas Costa provided his country with their first win of the 2015 Copa America tournament against Peru.
Unlike the previous Group C match today, Venezuela’s 1-0 win over Colombia, the match commenced and scoring essentially begun right off the whistle.
In the 3rd minute, Brazil’s David Luiz found himself as one weak link in a sequence that gave way to Peru’s lone goal of the game. The Paris Saint-Germain defender skipped a difficult ball to goalkeeper Jefferson, who couldn’t direct the clearance out of danger, allowing midfielder Cristian Cuevas to easily score from inside the penalty area.
But Brazil wouldn’t dwell on that mishap, as Neymar took advantage of the opposition’s poor marking to bang in a header from Dani Alves’ cross only two minutes later.
Peru was able to match much of the Little Canaries’ attack for the first 45 minutes.
In the 11th minute, Neymar sizzled one over the crossbar from 12 yards out.
Peru defender Carlos Zambrano made a exceptional sliding effort to hack away the Barcelona man’s close-range opportunity in the following minutes, just before the Incas managed to build up a encouraging attack spearheaded by Jefferson Farfan and Cuevas.
Brazil turned their fortune around in the second half, and Neymar’s magic nearly handed the previous World Cup host the goal. His curling drive clanged off the crossbar in the 53rd minute, though, and Fred couldn’t put back the rebound.
In the 69th minute, Alves delivered another hard-to-handle cross into the box and Willian pounced on the faulty clearance. Luis Advincula drowned out this prospect, though, and six minutes passed prior to Neymar’s miss on the break.
The remainder of the match wound down with Peru aiming to hit back on the counter.
Nonetheless, Neymar inched forward two minutes into stoppage time and drew multiple defenders to him, and made the heads-up pass to Costa at the far side, who slid it past goalkeeper Pedro Gallese for the winner.