International

Copa America: Winning start for Willian’s Brazil

Willian came off the bench as hosts Brazil opened their Copa America campaign with a 3-0 victory over Bolivia.

Expectations are high for Brazil as they attempt to lift their eighth South American title after failing to make the semi-finals of the last three tournamentns, especially playing on home soil as they host the Copa America for the first time in 30 years.

The Selecao were wearing white shirts for a home game in this match or the first time for 60 years, in honour of the 100th anniversary of the country’s first team to be crowned continental champions in 1919.

However, a frustrating goalless first half against Bolivia in the Estadio do Morumbi saw the Brazil fans making their feelings clear at the break, and it was a much more attacking Brazil who came out for the second period.

Just five minutes into the second half, the Selecao found the breakthrough, when VAR spotted a handball by Bolivia defender Adrian Jusino, allowing Philippe Coutinho to open the scoring from the penalty spot.

Coutinho then added a second three minutes later, heading in former Liverpool team-mate Roberto Firmino’s pass from close range.

Shortly after Willian, wearing Brazil’s famous number 10 shirt having been called up as a replacement for the injured Neymar, was introduced for Richarlison in the 84th minute, fellow substitute Everton sated the crowd’s thirst for thrilling Brazilian football by beating two defenders before smashing in their third goal from outside the box.

The other game in Group A sees Peru facing Venezuela in Porto Alegre later today (8pm UK time). Next up for Willian and Brazil is a meeting with Venezuela in Salvador in the early hours of Wednesday (1.30am UK time), before they complete their group matches by returning to Sao Paulo to play Peru at Arena Corinthians on Saturday evening (8pm UK time).

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