By Lisa Flueckiger, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s men football (soccer) team won their opening game on Sunday, June 14th at the Copa America against Peru after a bad start with a goal in injury time with 2-1. On Saturday, the women’s team had won their second game at the World Cup against Spain narrowly with 1-0 and qualified for the knock-out stage.
The Seleção masculina started badly into the game against Peru with the Peruvians scoring the first goal only two minutes into the match. David Luiz had hesitated when defending the ball against Guerrero, goal keeper Jefferson intervened, but failed to kick the ball way. He passed it to Cueva, who then found the net easily.
However, the reaction from the Brazilians came almost imminently with a collaboration from the Barcelona double Daniel Alves and Neymar. Alves played a beautiful wide-pass onto Neymar, who was left alone in front of the Peruvian goal and took the chance and converted the header to equal the score.
With two goals in less than five minutes, the game promised to be an exciting one. However, action died down soon and the Brazilians had difficulties in creating the game, while Peru had little possession of the ball.
Neymar and Willian were the driving forces of Brazil’s game with nice build-up from the two full backs Filipe Luís and Daniel Alves, however without generating the dominance expected from the Brazilian team in such a game. They created chances and Neymar even hit the bar a few minutes into the second half, but most of the chances were shot wide and looked unconvincing.
It took Brazil until injury time to score the winning goal. The defense played quickly forward and found Captain Neymar with two passes on the left side. Neymar passed through the entire Peruvian defense on to Douglas Costa alone in front of goal keeper Gallese. The midfielder from Shakthar Donezk hesitated briefly before finding the net to the 2-1 final score.
Brazil will next take on Colombia, who surprisingly lost their game against Venezuela with 0-1, on Wednesday, June 17th.
The Seleção feminina had played their second group game at the Women’s World Cup on Saturday, June 13th against Spain. The women narrowly won the game with 1-0 after a goal from Andressa Alves in the final minutes of the first half.
“We panicked a little towards the end of the match, but we still managed to hold onto our lead. Sometimes, you just need things to go your way,” midfielder Alves told FIFA.com after the game.
With the victory against Spain, Brazil were the second team after defending champions Japan to qualify for the knock-out stage. Brazil is leading its group with six points after two games, while Costa Rica only has two points and both Spain and South Korea are behind with one point each.
Brazil will now play their last group game against Costa Rica on June 17th, before heading onto the Round of 16 with the match scheduled for June 21st.