The 2019 Copa América started on Friday night with a strong debut from the favorites: Brazil dominated Bolivia on their way to an easy 3-0 win at the Morumbi Stadium. Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho had a Man of the Match performance and two goals, and while this was an easy win against the worst team in the tournament the Seleção still showed why they’re favorites.
The theme of the first half was Brazil’s inability to attack a very solid Bolivia defense, which set up on a tight and organized 4-4-2 with the two strikers working hard to hurt Brazil’s early passing. With Fernandinho in place of Arthur and a poor Casemiro game, Philippe Coutinho was the only creative player in midfield and it was easy for La Verde to shut him down. The front three had very little service, and only Roberto Firmino made a real effort to move around the final third and link up with teammates.
Bolivia couldn’t really trouble the Brazilian defense and Alisson didn’t need to make a save, but at halftime they were just extremely happy with how the game was going. For the Seleção, only one shot on target despite 77% possession was very disappointing, and they needed a lot of improvement to win the second half and the game.
The second half started with eight fantastic minutes for the home team: Adrian Jusino was called for a handball in the box following a VAR review, and Coutinho had no problem scoring from the spot to give his nation the lead. Just three minutes later Firmino found himself alone on the right wing and played a gorgeous cross to Coutinho, who easily headed home his and Brazil’s second.
Bolivia made substitutions after the goals trying to bring some danger to the Brazil defense, but they just didn’t have any real talent to create problems. The Seleção didn’t really amp up the pressure but still tried to get another goal or two, and substitute Everton scored a fantastic one with a rocket from outside the box into the top corner.
The final whistle came to end a good performance and an easy win for Brazil. They still need to play better and they’ll have tougher tests in the group stage, but it’s a nice win for the Seleção.
Brazil: Alisson; D. Alves, Marquinhos, T. Silva, F. Luís; Fernandinho, Casemiro, Coutinho; Richarlison (Willian), Firmino (G. Jesus), Neres (Everton)
Goals: Coutinho (50’, 53’), Everton (85’)
Bolivia: Lampe; D. Bejarano, Haquín, Jusino, M. Bejarano; Saavedra (L. Vaca), Justiniano, Sucedo (Wayar), Chumacero; Castro (R. Vaca); Moreno