Five lessons from Brazil 0-1 Peru

Brasil Global Tour look back at the key talking points from the Selecao’s early Copa America Centenario exit on Sunday


Brazil saw their Copa America Centenario campaign come to a premature end on Sunday as a controversial 1-0 defeat to Peru sent them crashing out at the group stage.

It was the first time since 1987 that the Selecao have failed to make it past the first round of a Copa America tournament.

Dunga’s expansive side made a good start to the match, impressing in the first half with an attacking 4-2-3-1 that saw Santos playmaker Lucas Lima replace the suspended Casemiro – an approach the coaching staff had been experimenting with since the Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour victory over Panama last month.

Report: Brazil 0-1 Peru | WATCH: Peru’s controversial winner | Dunga balsts referee

But the eight-time South American champions failed to turn their dominance into a lead and ultimately went out to a Raul Ruidiaz winner 15 minutes from time.

Below Brasil Global Tour looks back at some of the key talking points from the Selecao’s early exit.

Coutinho’s no-show

After the victory over Haiti brought a brilliant performance from hat-trick hero Philippe Coutinho, all eyes were on the Liverpool man to continue to deliver in the final third. But this time out he could not have the same impact.

A number of misplaced passes as Brazil lost their rhythm in the second half meant he failed to settle into the game and was nowhere near as deadly as he had been in front of goal last time out. Coutinho had waited so long for an opportunity to be a real protagonist for his country, but the team’s lack of cohesion after the break made it very difficult for the Liverpool man who will no doubt go on to be a future star of the national team.

Gabigol – close but not quite close enough

The past couple of weeks had seen Santos starlet Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa grow from promising youngster into bonafide senior international, coming off the bench to hit two goals in three substitute appearances as he made his first steps in the national team.

Against Peru he was handed his first Brazil start and twice went close to breaking the deadlock in the first half. First he received a low pass and turned expertly to roll a shot towards the far corner, but was denied by a fine save. Then he hit a snap shot that stung Pedro Gallese’s hands but was not accurate enough to beat him. Gabigol was replaced by Hulk with 20 minutes remaining. It was a disappointing ending to a whirlwind few weeks for the 19-year-old, but he’ll be back in August to star at the Olympics.

Dunga’s brave approach doesn’t pay off

With no Casemiro and youngster Walace the only outright defensive midfielder at his disposal, Dunga took the bold approach of fielding a midfield without a holder to sit in front of the back four. The position has become so entrenched in Brazilian football that it was an extremely brave decision from a coach previously criticised for his pragmatic approach.

But despite his courage to take the game to the opposition and introduce more possession to his side, the second-half performance was well below par as his side failed to create clear-cut chances and ultimately bowed out to a goal conceded on the counter-attack.

Subsitutions fail to make the difference

As his side struggled to find the sort of cohesion they showed in the first period, local commentators insisted that changes were needed if Brazil were to arrest their sudden decline. Six late withdrawals had left Dunga without a number of his preferred options from the bench.

The Selecao needed something extra, but only one change was made as Hulk came on to replace Gabigol. Perhaps the likes of Lucas Moura and Paulo Henrique Ganso could have added something extra. Regardless, the one change Dunga did make so very nearly paid off but Elias couldn’t convert a glaring opportunity at the death after a fine cross from Hulk.

Refereeing failure

As Ruidiaz and his colleagues set off towards the corner flag in wild celebration, it was clear to see that something wasn’t quite right. Brazil goalkeeper Alisson led the protests, insisting the Peru attacker had used his hand to swat in a cross that was bending behind him.

The referee and his assistants took almost six minutes deliberating over the incident, with everyone in black appearing to have missed the handball. The big screen in the stadium would later show it was clearly Ruidiaz’s hand that sent the ball into the net. But it didn’t matter. Brazil were behind and they would bow out.


06 2016

Filipe Luis: Uruguay elimination serves as Brazil warning

After two straight defeats sent Luis Suarez’ side packing from the Copa America Centenario, the Atletico Madrid full-back has urged Brazil to avoid the same fate

Filipe Luis has urged Brazil to take Uruguay’s elimination from the Copa America Centenario as a warning.

A 1-0 defeat to Venezuela followed a loss to Mexico in Uruguay’s opening match, resulting in an early exit from the competition for the most successful country in the competition. 

Star striker Luis Suarez sustained an injury while representing Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final in May, and was unable to return to fitness in time to feature in either match for the 15-time champions.

Brazil head into their final Group B match against Peru with a place in the quarter-finals still not secured, and Filipe Luis is determined not to suffer the same fate as Uruguay.

“Uruguay’s elimination serves as a warning. It’s a complicated competition, everyone wants to win and there is no easy game,” said Filipe Luis.

“Uruguay have a great team but ended up losing their first game – obviously they felt the absence of Suarez.

“But we are in a good moment, we are growing every day. I believe that we are more prepared than anyone.”

After a dour goalless draw against Ecuador, Brazil sprung to life with a 7-1 thumping of Haiti in their second group match.

Philippe Coutinho struck a hat-trick in the resounding victory, and Filipe Luis hailed his understanding with the Liverpool forward.

“Playing with Coutinho is easy,” he added. “He’s a very quick player who dribbles well.

“He knows how to play out wide, and my job is no just to go past and help him, is also to give the greatest number of passes to him in space around the opposition right-back.

“I have an understanding with him, I know the movements he likes to make, but firstly my function is defensive.” 


06 2016

Sell Coutinho? No! There's no price tag for progress

The Reds need to reject any offer for the Brazilian, regardless of the fee involved as the playmaker is nowhere close to his ceiling and has proved pivotal for the club

Here Liverpool are again. Another summer, another scenario where clubs are circling around their best player.

Paris Saint-Germain are heavily considering luring Philippe Coutinho to the French capital. And they will not be the only European powerhouse sniffing around the Brazilian, who netted a hat-trick in a 7-1 Copa America crushing of Haiti on Wednesday night. 

Neymar has been unequivocal about wanting his countryman at Barcelona, while Filipe Luís has stated ‘O Magico’ would be more than welcome at Atletico Madrid. More stellar showings at the 16-team tournament will invite more admirers.

He is a stunningly gifted player capable of the simple, the sublime and mixing graft with guile. He only turns 24 next week, and is nowhere close to his ceiling. Coutinho’s best years are ahead of him, and Liverpool need to ensure most of those are spent on Merseyside. 

They are expected to bat away any approaches for the playmaker, and if the club are intent on being formidable in future, the Reds need to stick to the ‘not-for-sale’ stance at present.

Over the past two summers, Liverpool have watched Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling walk away. The Uruguayan, unquestionably one of the world’s premier players, was always going to move on. And when he did, the Anfield side lost genuine, unrelenting quality. The former captain, past his playing peak but still in possession of the kind of authority the club requires, should have been convinced to stay. 

The Sterling saga was toxic, and Manchester City paid an English record fee for the attacker, but the Reds ceded an excellent player of only 20 at the time, who felt they couldn’t match his ambitions.

Regardless of how he handled matters, that is a damning indictment. 

If the trend continues and Coutinho is allowed to make a switch this summer, when does the talent drain stop? Who will be next? Emre Can? Divock Origi if his exponential development continues? 

Liverpool’s squad has plenty of industry, but is lacking inspiration and to lose some of the current stardust would be criminal. 

Attacking players are already at a premium, with the Reds themselves acutely aware of how hard it is to land stellar creative sparks. 

Months of selling the club to Mario Gotze is currently at the stage where it is looks unlikely that he will opt to move to Anfield. Liverpool switched focus to Sadio Mane, and Southampton will play hardball over the Senegal international, who is set to command a £30 million fee. 

What then, is Coutinho worth? How do you put a price on progress? Because if the former Inter man departs, Liverpool are back at square one needing to replace their reigning two-time Player of the Season. Who would they target? And at what fee? How long would it take a new buy to get to where Coutinho is – a reference point for the team? 

Since signing the Rio-born virtuoso on 30 January 2013 for just £8.5 million, whom have Liverpool recruited that has proved to be better? Can and Roberto Firmino are excellent purchases, but neither are at the stage yet where they can help galvanise the dressing room and routinely decide a game.

Suarez said it. Gerrard said it. And Liverpool must know it: Coutinho is the player to build this team around. He provided many of the standout moments of 2015-16, as he did in the campaign prior. There are currently very few players at Anfield who entice and excite the crowd, he is atop that list. 

Coutinho has spent three-and-a-half seasons with the Reds: for two of them, fans and his peers have voted him the main man. For the other year and six months, Suarez described him as “the difference that makes Liverpool.”

And he is only getting started. Just swinging into stride.

The acquisition of Jurgen Klopp last October has been the greatest show of ambition Liverpool have managed in the last decade. 

They need to match that by standing firm over their premier players. 

The club are still recovering from the sales of the likes of Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso, they cannot continually add to the inventory of high-profile outgoings and expect to be a constant force. 

Liverpool need to thwart the trend. They need to line up with Coutinho next season. 

If the Reds want to land great players, they need to start by keeping the few they’ve currently got. 


06 2016

Gabigol stars in Coutinho show – Five lessons for Brazil from 'the 7-1'

Brasil Global Tour look back at the key talking points from the Selecao’s 7-1 Copa America demolition in Orlando on Wednesday


After kicking off their Copa America Centenario campaign with a disappointing stalemate against Ecuador, Brazil roared back into life on Wednesday as they demolished Haiti by a historically significant 7-1 scoreline.

The Selecao were in desperate need of a good performance to get their tournament off and running. Two years on, they are still living a post-World Cup 2014 existence.

But, last night, when people referenced ‘the 7-1’, Brazil could ask, ‘which one?’.

Report: Brazil 7-1 Haiti | WATCH: Coutinho’s stunning hat-trick | PROFILE: New Brazil star Walace

Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho, in the first team thanks to the absence of Neymar, delivered on his promise with a stunning hat-trick against a Haitian side who simply couldn’t contain the five-time world champions.

Below, Brasil Global Tour looks back at five talking points from the match.

The Coutinho show

Dunga revealed he had spoken to Coutinho prior to the match to make it clear the time had come for Brazil to see the player who has starred for Liverpool, urging the midfielder to take more responsibility in the attack. The 23-year-old duly obliged. Back in the first-team this month and desperate to improve on a showing at last year’s Copa America that initially cost him place in the squad, Coutinho starred from the outset.

Floating from his position on the left, he twice jinked inside to hammer shots past Haiti goalkeeper Johnny Placide, and ghosted in for a tap-in after some fine approach play from Willian and Jonas. Coutinho quadrupled his previous international tally and now looks set to play a major role in Brazil’s fortunes at Copa America.

Gabigol demotes Jonas

Despite the excellent first-half performance, Dunga shuffled his pack at the break by withdrawing lone striker Jonas for the second consecutive match. Jonas had been unfortunate not to score, with Willian uncharacteristically playing a sloppy pass when he should have provided Jonas a tap-in.

Once again, Gabigol came in and this time made an immediate impact, taking his goal superbly. The 19-year-old Santos star offered Brazil another dimension: his endless desire to run in behind the defence not only provided a cutting edge and a vertical outlet ball, it also stretched Haiti to provide a talented Brazil midfield more space to exploit. Gabigol now his two goals in just three appearances for Brazil (all as a substitute) and appears to have dislodged Jonas from the first-team.

Another revolutionary 10 minutes

The only sour point of a fine first-half showing from the Selecao was the yellow card to Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro. It was his second in two matches, meaning he will now miss Brazil’s final group game against Peru on Sunday. He operated as the pivot in the midfield three, with Elias shuttling and Renato Augusto charged with adding the guile.

Casemiro was replaced by Lucas Lima after an hour as Dunga shifted to a 4-2-3-1. This was significant because, for the second time in three games, Brazil lined up without a single specialist defensive midfielder – a ploy previously unimaginable for a nation who has always depended heavily on its volante; for the past 30 years, there’s usually been two of them. As in the match against Panama, however, the experiment didn’t last long. Haiti pulled one back and Dunga instantly responded by handing Walace his debut and restoring the natural order.

Walace to restore the natural order?

Dunga’s July 2014 arrival disappointed some in Brazil who had called for a complete overhaul of the national game following the infamous defeat to Germany. The ultimate pragmatist, Brazilian football was reverting to type, they said. Indeed, though he introduced a false no.9 and worked his team hard in training on possession-based drills, Dunga’s style up until this month was still fairly conservative, with the team looking to do damage in transition.

The last month has seen a departure from that, but will Dunga remain bold? Twice now his volante-less approach has received just a cameo. Casemiro’s suspension is most likely to result in a like-for-like replacement. Did Walace do enough? Or will Sao Paulo’s Rodrigo Caio come in as he did against Panama? Lucas Lima will hope fortune favours the brave.

Renato Augusto, sharpshooter

Renato Augusto has become something of a joker in Dunga’s pack, with the coach telling Brasil Global Tour last month that the former Corinthians man’s ability to operate in a number of different central midfield roles provides the side with great flexibility.

Of the midfield three, Renato Augusto was once again tasked with playing furthest up the field, but dropped a little deeper when Lucas Lima arrived as a second-half substitute. Renato Augusto fonud the net from both roles and now has four goals in his last six appearances for Brazil. A worry ahead of the tournament was where the goals were going to come from. On Wednesday Renato Augusto provided an answer.


06 2016

Coutinho took his Brazil chance – Dunga praises Liverpool man's hat-trick

The midfielder is deputising in the side for the absent Neymar at Copa America and starred with three goals in the Selecao’s historic 7-1 win over Haiti on Thursday

Dunga believes Philippe Coutinho is growing in confidence after the attacker scored a hat-trick in Brazil’s demolition of Haiti at the Copa America Centenario on Wednesday.

Coutinho netted a first-half double and completed his haul in stoppage time as Brazil romped to a 7-1 victory in Group B at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.

The 23-year-old Liverpool star had only ever scored one international goal before kick-off in the United States, despite netting 28 in total during his four years at Anfield.

“Coutinho is taking advantage of his opportunity. He has been following us,” Dunga told reporters.

“Every game and every practice his confidence is growing.

“We talked with him for him to be the Coutinho of Liverpool, dictate play, lead and take risks.”

Wednesday’s rout was a much-needed response for Dunga’s Brazil, following last week’s goalless draw against Ecuador.

While Coutinho stole the show, Renato Augusto scored two goals of his own as substitutes Gabriel and Lucas Lima came off the bench to inflict more misery on the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarter-finalists.

“This is a different group of players. It’s another era,” Dunga added, after Brazil were on the receiving end of a 7-1 drubbing against Germany at the 2014 World Cup. 

“We try to do our part by putting into practice what we train. The goals happened as the team had a positive performance. 

“We had a few passes go astray due to the pitch, but we can not use that as an excuse. We will fix this in practice.”


06 2016

WATCH: Coutinho scores brilliant hat-trick for Brazil

The Liverpool midfielder shined for the South American giants against Haiti in the Copa America Centenario and you can watch every goal in the above highlights video

Philippe Coutinho lit up Brazil’s Copa America Centenario clash with Haiti on Thursday, scoring a superb hat-trick in their thumping 7-1 victory and you can watch all of his goals above!

The Liverpool midfielder scored two stunning long-range drives against the minnows, and also turned home Jonas’s precise cut-back as Brazil ran riot.

Renato Augusto netted a brace in the victory, with Gabriel Barbosa and Lucas Lima also on the scoresheet.

Watch Coutinho’s goals above!


06 2016

Coutinho denies knowledge of Paris Saint-Germain offer

The Brazil playmaker scored a hat trick for his country Wednesday and said afterwards that, as far as he knows, there has been no transfer bid.

Philippe Coutinho insists he knows nothing about a rumored 23 million pound ($33.3 million) bid from Paris Saint-Germain for his services.

The Liverpool playmaker scored a hat trick as Brazil thrashed Haiti 7-1 in the Copa America Centenario on Wednesday, the same day it was rumored that the Ligue 1 champion has rivaled Barcelona in the race to seal his signature.

Reports indicate that PSG has made the first move by submitting a formal offer to Liverpool, but the player himself says he has not been informed of any interest.

COPA AMERICA: Fan fights in Glendale | Wrong national anthem played

“As far as I know, there’s no offer,” he said. “I’m here with the national team, this subject is for my representatives. More important for me is to be here, focused on the national team and having a good tournament. That’s where my head is.”

Coutinho’s international teammate Willian, himself said to be the subject of interest from Manchester United this summer, also made it clear that he is paying no attention to his future in club football.

Incoming United boss Jose Mourinho is reported to be keen to take the Chelsea winger to Old Trafford, but the 27-year-old says neither he nor any of his colleagues will have their heads turned this summer.

“No, no, we have to focus here. The mentality… my head is here. We have to think only about the national team.”

He continued: “I am happy for him. He scored three goals, he played well. I think we have to… not only him but the whole team, we have to play like we played today.

“I think we had a great game tonight, and now we have to continue in the same way and win game by game. We have to improve always, because in football you can’t stop, never stop. You have to always improve and I think we are doing that.”

Brazil’s victory puts the side back on track in Group B following an opening draw with Ecuador.

Victory against Peru in the final group game in Boston on Sunday will secure top spot for Dunga’s men.


06 2016

Brazil 7-1 Haiti: Coutinho hat trick inspires Copa America rout

Philippe Coutinho, Renato Augusto, Gabriel and Lucas Lima were all on target as Brazil boosted its Copa America quarterfinal hopes.

Philippe Coutinho netted a hat trick as Brazil kick-started its Copa America Centenario campaign with a 7-1 win over Haiti.

Brazil played out a contentious goalless draw with Ecuador last time out but there was nothing controversial about Wednesday’s Group B victory as Philippe Coutinho put the result beyond doubt against the Caribbean minnow during the first 45 minutes in Orlando.

Coutinho scored twice inside the opening half hour and completed his hat trick in the second minute of injury time at Camping World Stadium.

COPA AMERICA: Fan fights in Glendale | Wrong national anthem played

Renato Augusto scored twice with goals in each half, while substitutes and Santos pair Gabriel – dubbed the new Neymar – and Lucas Lima got in on the action after the break to ease some of the pressure on coach Dunga at the centenary tournament in the United States.

Brazil, though, was exposed in defense as James Marcelin scored Haiti’s first Copa America goal with 20 minutes remaining.

With Miranda still unfit, Dunga retained the center back pairing of Gil and Marquinhos as Brazil named an unchanged starting XI.

Looking to pull off a shock and snap a three-game losing streak, CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinalist Haiti called in Jean Alexandre, Jean Alcenat and Kevin Belfort at the expense of Wilde Donald Guerrier, Max Hilaire and Duckens Nazon.

As expected, Brazil controlled the game against the 74th-ranked nation but was made to wait 15 minutes for the opener, though it was worth it after Coutinho produced a stunning strike to break the deadlock.

Left in plenty of space, Coutinho collected the ball outside the penalty area and beared down on goal before unleashing a powerful effort beyond Haiti goalkeeper Johny Placide.

For all of Brazil’s dominance, the side was often sloppy in possession but that did not stop them from doubling the lead via Coutinho just shy of the half-hour mark in an all too easy sequence of play.

Dani Alves crossed in from the right flank, picking out Jonas, who outmuscled two opponents, including the keeper, and squared the ball to an unmarked Coutinho for the Liverpool star to tap into an empty net for Brazil’s 400th Copa America goal.

30 – #Coutinho is the first #Brazil player to score a #CopaAmerica brace in the first 30 minutes, since Rivaldo in 1999 v Uruguay. Magic

— OptaJavier (@OptaJavier) June 9, 2016

Haiti emerged from the halftime break on the front foot, threatening at times but was not clinical enough as Gabriel came off the bench to extend Brazil’s lead.

Staking his claim for a starting berth after replacing Jonas at the interval, teenager Gabriel was fed through by Elias and coolly slotted the ball past Placide on the hour.

Brazil showed no signs of easing up on Haiti as fellow substitute Lucas Lima got in on the action in the 68th minute, nodding home Alves’ cross.

Haiti, though, did score, with USA-based forward Marcelin thumping home the 70th-minute rebound after Alisson was unable to deal with Hilaire’s shot following a driving run from Nazon.

There was almost a sixth for Brazil after Gabriel’s impressive footwork but Willian’s stinging shot was saved by Placide with 12 minutes remaining, however Augusto completed his brace in the 86th minute with a tidy finish and Coutinho bagged his third late in stoppage time as the South American giant extended its unbeaten streak to eight matches.


06 2016

Dani Alves urges Coutinho to quit Liverpool

The full-back, who is on the verge of joining Juventus, has backed his Brazil team-mate to play for Barcelona after facing another season without European football at Anfield

Dani Alves has suggested Philippe Coutinho should quit Liverpool in favour of a “top Champions League side” and feels his Brazil team-mate could play for Barcelona.

Coutinho enjoyed another stellar season at Anfield, sweeping the board at the end-of-season awards for the second consecutive season, but will be without European football once again.

Alves respects Liverpool’s history but recognises that Coutinho should be able to play at the top of the game on a regular basis amid links with Paris Saint-Germain.

GOALREAD MORE  | PSG face fight to sign Coutinho

“Football is about living the moment,” Alves told Yahoo Esportes.

“Liverpool have history but you should consider playing for top Champions League sides. He has the quality to play for Barcelona.”

Alves is set to leave Barcelona after eight years at Camp Nou, with a move to Juventus set to be completed early this week.


06 2016

PSG face fight to sign Coutinho as Liverpool set to hold firm

The Ligue 1 champions are willing to offer around £45 million for the Brazilian, but anticipate facing a brick wall as the Reds are disinclined sellers

Liverpool are expected to bat away any approaches for Philippe Coutinho this summer as Jurgen Klopp plans to build his first full campaign at the helm around the club’s Player of the Season, Goal understands.

Paris Saint-Germain have made advances to the Brazil international’s camp as they plan another massive outlay in the transfer market. He fits the creative profile they are looking for and is on the Ligue 1 champions’ list of targets ahead of 2016-17. 

It is understood Coutinho is not a priority, though, with Alexis Sanchez and Antoine Griezmann their main objectives currently.

No official approach has been made to the Reds yet, but PSG would be open to offering around £45 million for the playmaker. 

However, they anticipate hitting a brick wall.

Coutinho, who signed a new five-year deal with the Reds in February, has given the club no indication he wants to move on. The 23-year-old is happy on Merseyside and his young family are settled in the city. 

Liverpool, similarly, have no designs on letting him depart. Klopp has referred to Coutinho as “a genius of a player” and the Rio-born star, bought for just £8.5m from Inter in January 2013, is one of the German’s genuine match winners.

He cleaned up at the club’s end of season awards, winning four accolades – the same total at the end of 2014-15, when former captain Steven Gerrard said: “I’m privileged to share a dressing room with him. He’s the next big thing for me.

“I hope he stays here for a long time and can help the club win more trophies.”

GOALREAD MORE  |’Klopp has a bit of Shankly about him’

Liverpool hold the same wish and would be loathe to lose another one of their premier players for a third season running. 

Luis Suarez left for Barcelona in the summer of 2014, with Raheem Sterling recruited by Manchester City a year later, when Steven Gerrard also exited to LA Galaxy. 

The club do not need to sell to buy, and are set to hold firm on Coutinho.


06 2016