Coutinho brace fires Brazil to 3-Zero win over Bolivia in Copa America opener

Philippe Coutinho scored two second-half targets as Brazil kicked off the Copa America with a 3-Zero victory over Bolivia right here on Friday.

The Barcelona attacker netted twice inside 5 minutes earlier than substitute Everton put the consequence past doubt with a long-range strike at Sao Paulo’s Morumbi stadium.

Regardless of the excellent scoreline, the five-time world champions have been beneath their greatest in opposition to an organized if unthreatening Bolivia outfit.

For lengthy durations Brazil lacked a innovative within the absence of star ahead Neymar, who was dominated out of the event final week due to an ankle harm.

“It was a troublesome match for us,” Coutinho advised reporters after the sport. “At halftime the supervisor [Tite] requested us to focus extra and to regulate the ball higher. We managed to do this. The primary objective modified the course of the match.”

Brazil dominated possession early however struggled to seek out methods previous a resolute Bolivia protection.

Roberto Firmino and Thiago Silva had early possibilities from corners whereas Coutinho didn’t make clear contact with a header after a Filipe Luis cross.

Tite opted in opposition to making modifications at halftime and his religion was rewarded virtually instantly.

Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana consulted the video assistant referee earlier than ruling that Adrian Jusino used his left hand to hinder Richarlison’s chipped shot. Coutinho then dispatched the resultant spot-kick into the underside left nook.

The objective shortly launched the stress on Brazil and the Selecao netted once more 4 minutes later when Coutinho headed in after a exact cross from his former Liverpool teammate Firmino.

Everton, launched as an 85th-minute substitute for David Neres, accomplished the rout with a high-quality solo objective 5 minutes from time.

The Gremio ahead minimize in from the left earlier than smashing a low drive from the sting of the field that curled into the underside proper nook of Carlos Lampe’s objective.

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