Brazil put five goals — from five different goalscorers — past a helpless Peru side in Saturday’s Group A finale to emphatically seal their place in the quarterfinals, alongside fellow South American powers Colombia and Chile.
Following a hiccup in game no. 2 — a scoreless draw with a quickly rising Venezuela side — Brazil restored a bit of order with a thoroughly dominant performance rom the opening whistle.
Casemiro made it 1-0 in the 12th minute, followed quickly by Roberto Firmino in the 19th and Everton in the 32nd. Dani Alves continued regular service in the second half and made it 4-0 in the 52nd. The fifth and final goal came from Willian in the 90th minute.
As the winners of Group A, with seven points, Brazil will face one of the third-place teams in the quarterfinals before a potential rematch with Venezuela — or a showdown with Argentina, should they advance — in the semifinals.
Bolivia 1-3 Venezuela
Venezuela secured a second-place finish in Group A and booked their place in the knockout rounds with a comfortable victory over Bolivia to round out group play.
Darwin Machis bagged Venezuela’s first two goals (2nd and 55th minutes) before Leonel Justiniano pulled one back for Bolivia in the 82nd. Atlanta United star Josef Martinez restored the two-goal advantage just five minutes later.
Sunday’s Copa America schedule
Qatar v. Argentina — 3 p.m. ET
Colombia v. Paraguay — 3 p.m. ET
Brazil and Peru both have four points leading into the meeting, but the hosts have a one-goal lead in differential. The first place team in Group A avoids the Groups B and C winners until a potential final.
Venezuela can still win the group if Brazil and Peru draw and it beats Bolivia by more than three goals.
Bolivia can advance via third place, but it needs to beat Venezuela.
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The hosts are set to kick off the 2019 Copa America as Brazil takes on Bolivia in Sao Paulo.
Neymar will not take part in the tournament after suffering an ankle injury in the warmup friendlies. That increases the importance on Philippe Coutinho and Richarlison who look to shoulder the brunt of the creativity.
As Tite takes charge of his 39th match as manager of Brazil, Champions League winners Liverpool is heavily represented as Roberto Firmino leads the lines and Alisson starts in goal. Dani Alves captains the side as club teammate Neymar was stripped of the armband before his injury.
PSG teammates Marqinhos and Thiago Silva both start as the center-back partnership, while Casemiro and Fernandinho start together in central midfield. Everton winger Richarlison is in the lineup as well, opposite Ajax attacker David Neres. Miranda, Arthur, Willian, and Gabriel Jesus are all on the bench for Brazil as Tite rotates the attackers.
For Bolivia, Marcelo Moreno of Chinese club Shijiazhuang Ever Bright leads the attack up front supported by a trio of central midfielders in Raul Castro, Fernando Saucedo, and Leonel Justiniano as Bolivia looks to attack through the wide areas with Alejandro Chumacero and Erwin Saaedra.
Colombia earned a measure of revenge for losing to Japan in the World Cup pool stage last year, although both teams advanced, and Queiroz also earned some revenge as his eight-year tenure in charge of Iran was ended by Japan in January in the Asian Cup semifinals.
Japan failed to find the target despite 17 attempts in its first game since losing the Asian Cup final to Qatar.
Japan, joining Colombia at the Copa America in June in Brazil, gets another taste of South American action on Tuesday against Bolivia.
South Korea struggled to make its domination count against Bolivia. Son Heung-min wasted several chances before a header by Lee Chung-yong scored the winner with five minutes remaining.