Cyprus Mail

Brazil edge Peru to extend winning streak, Venezuela humble Colombia

Brazil's Douglas celebrates his goal against Peru with teammates Ribeiro and Neymar

An injury time goal from Douglas Costa gave Brazil a barely deserved 2-1 win over a plucky Peru side in the Copa America on Sunday.

Substitute Costa slipped the ball past the keeper from close range in the 48th minute of the second half to break the deadlock and extend Brazil’s winning run to 11 matches.

“I managed to control the ball from a perfect pass from Neymar and I scored,” Costa said in a pitchside interview.

Brazil have kept a perfect record under Dunga, who took over for a second stint as coach last year following the disastrous 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-finals of their home World Cup.

Brazil have conceded just three goals under Dunga but looked vulnerable during a frantic opening few minutes against Peru, who got off to a dream start with an unexpected opener to Christian Cueva after just three minutes.

David Luiz failed to clear a long ball and goalkeeper Jefferson passed the ball straight to Cueva who hammered it home from 10 yards out.

However, Peru’s lead lasted just two minutes. Dani Alves stroked a lovely cross into the box where an unmarked Neymar headed home his 44th international goal in 64 matches.

The Barcelona striker was the stand-out performer of the match. He had a shot saved off the line in the 13th minute and saw a long range strike crash off the underside of the bar eight minutes into the second half.

He was also booked moments before half-time for wiping away the referee’s spray before taking a free kick.

“I just want to help my team with goals and passes,” he said afterwards. “The win is what is important.”

The results leaves Brazil joint top of Group C with three points, alongside Venezuela, who beat Colombia 1-0 earlier on Sunday. Brazil play Colombia on Wednesday, while Peru play Venezuela the following day.

“It was incredible,” Peru’s Jefferson Farfan said of the late winner.

“I think we did very well, we knew that we were facing a great time like Brazil and we had a chance to at least get a draw but it never happened. Now we need to think of the next match.”

Venezuela beat Colombia 1-0 at the Copa America on Sunday, the biggest upset of the tournament so far and their first victory over their South American neighbours in the history of the competition.

Striker Jose Salomon Rondon scored the only goal of the Group C match in the 60th minute in the central Chilean city of Rancagua.

Midfielder Rafael Ocosta swung in a deep cross from the right, Alejandro Guerra headed it back across goal and Rondon buried a firm header into the bottom lefthand corner of the Colombian net.

Colombia, tipped as outsiders for the title, poured forward in search of an equaliser and James Rodriguez, Edwin Cardona and Juan Cuadrado all came close but Venezuelan keeper Alain Baroja kept them at bay.

Colombia had beaten Venezuela in four of their five previous encounters at the Copa America. The other clash, back in 1979, ended in a goalless draw.

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