Peru were the opponent of Brazil in the final of the Copa America 2019 edition and they met again in the semifinal this year. In a pretty entertaining final Brazil beat Peru to lift the Copa America title for the ninth time but this time around, it was quite a scratchy affair, where Brazil won narrowly.

Revenge was on the mind of Peru against the Selecao. Peru had to battle past Paraguay in the last eight to advance, requiring penalties to see off their rivals. Miguel Trauco was composed of 12 yards to guide his team over the line, but they will need to be flawless tonight to beat out Brazil and fight hard.

Peru had made one change to their side that beat Paraguay on penalties in their last outing. Andre Carrillo had been suspended after he was dismissed in the quarter-final clash. Callens came into the team to replace him, which saw a reshuffle in the formation as he slotted into the backline. Cueva was pushed into an advanced role behind Lapadula, spearheading the attack.

Brazil made two changes to their side that beat Chile in the quarterfinals. One was enforced as Jesus missed out due to suspension, while Roberto Firmino dropped to the bench. The goalscorer Lucas Paqueta came into the side in the final third along with Everton.

Brazil had won 35 of the 49 matches between the two sides before the semifinal clash, including a hammering of Peru in the group stage of the competition.

Brazil started brightly but continued to miss chances.

Paqueta opening up the Peruvian defence with an incisive pass through to Richarlison in the box. The forward took a neat first touch and advanced past Gallese. He worked an offload back to Neymar to strike the first time but placed his effort wide of the right post.

Casemiro hammered a strike towards the goal with power. It was straight at Gallese, but he fumbled the ball straight towards Everton. Ramos had to act to divert the ball away from the winger and into the arms of the Peruvian keeper.

Everton collected an offload from Richarlison on the right flank and took a step inside to fire a left-footed strike towards the goal. He connected well with his attempt but sent it straight at Gallese.

Gallese kept the scores level with three fine saves.

Casemiro lined up a blast from the distance that the keeper parried away with a dive to his left.

Brazil kept the pressure on as Paqueta teed up Neymar with a low cross, but the Peruvian keeper made a point-blank stop. Gallese was not done yet as he diverted a goal-bound effort from Richarlison away from the net on the rebound.

Fred released Richarlison down the left flank and he beat Gallese to the ball. He rounded the keeper, but cannot shoot towards the goal. The forward lifted a cross into the box instead. Callens cleared ahead of Neymar, but Everton gathered the loose ball. He hammered a strike at the net, only to be denied by Callens on the deck.

Twenty-five minutes had gone and Brazil should have scored three or four goals by then.

Ten minutes later, Neymar opened up the Peruvian defence before teeing up Paqueta to convert from close range with his left foot.

Brazil surged down the left flank and Neymar turned his way from two players with a neat flick. He spotted Paqueta in a space in the middle as the ball took a slight bobble forcing Paqueta to adjust, but he accounted for it and hammered his effort past Gallese to break the deadlock.

Neymar sent Everton down the right-inside channel and the winger clipped a cross to the back post.

Renan Lodi rose, but he sends his header comfortably wide of the target.

And, that was the last meaningful action in the first half.

After the break, Brazil tried to defend their lead rather than going for more which was pretty surprising.

Lapadula latched on to a through ball from Yotun in the right-inside channel. The forward cut back on to his left foot to fire towards goal. His strike headed towards the bottom-left corner, but Ederson produced a fine diving stop to push it past the post.

Cueva caused problems in the final third as he bundled his way through two challenges. Garcia took over and lined up a drive from 25 yards that traveled wide of the right post.

Garcia dropped the shoulder and launched a strike at goal from the edge of the box. Ederson got down making the stop, but he parried his effort into the middle of the box. Lapadula tried to pounce, but Marquinhos was there first. The rebound would have been moot anyway as Lapadula was offside.

With ten minutes remaining, Callens rose unmarked to head Yotun’s cross towards goal. However, he made only glancing a contact and the ball travelled wide of the right post. The defender spurned a huge opportunity to level the score.

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Neymar had been instrumental yet in this match and ran the show from the midfield and upfront – his influence was noticeable, while the rest built their game centring on Neymar, but if Brazil wish to lift the title for the tenth time then should lift their game up.

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