The fourth day of the Copa America was filled with drama and surprise, as Venezuela stunned Colombia in a 1-0 win while Brazil needed a very late Douglas Costa goal to overcome Peru 2-1 and start their Group C campaign on the right foot.
Venezuela, surprising to write, were the better team for most of their encounter with their rival neighbours, who seemed lazy and complacent from the first minute until it was a bit too late. It wasn’t until Salomon Rondon scored a fine header in the 60th minute after an Alejandro Guerra headed assist that Colombia started looking like the more dangerous team, but even then, they couldn’t get a clean shot at goal from close range.
The loss means Colombia are forced to beat Peru and possibly get a point from Brazil, although the lucky loser (or third place team) set up offers them a chance to make it into the next round without winning the next two matches. However, with this kind of ability, peppered with arrogance while play slow, predictable football isn’t going to get them anywhere.
A Brazilian defensive mistake (what else) allowed Christian Cuevas to score a shocking opening goal in the third minute and had Brazil chasing Peru the entire match, despite Neymar scoring a fifth minute equalizer. The Brazilian defense made it a scary moment for Dunga every time Peru went on the counter attack, and without a much more organized look (maybe when Thiago Silva is healthy again) they won’t win this tournament. Neymar with his ability to draw defenders was the hero of the day, as pulling four players towards him before slotting the assist to Douglas Costa gave Brazil the 92nd minute winner, putting them on top of Group C for the time being, in what means they’re almost 100% in the quarterfinals, although Colombia are never easy and Venezuela have now shown they’re not the usual pushovers they tend to be in continental tournaments.
Group C Table
1. Eleven players with one goal each.
Ecuador vs Bolivia, Chile vs Mexico