The first major upset of the 2019 Copa América took place on Tuesday night in Salvador as Brazil could not find a way to score against Venezuela in a high-level game that ended in a frustrating 0-0 draw for the hosts and an incredible result for the Vinotinto, who put on a defensive clinic for almost 100 minutes of football and held on to a huge point. Barcelona’s Arthur and Philippe Coutinho played the entire match, but neither could help the Seleção win a game in which they had three disallowed goals.
The hosts made a strong start to the game, dominating possession in the first half-hour and creating plenty of chances through quick passing, good movement in the final third and plenty of intensity in their high pressing. Venezuela stayed solid throughout and never had a breakdown, absorbing the pressure and looking like a solid defensive unit.
The Vinotinto also looked good on the counter, and they had a big chance on a header by Salomón Rondón in the six-yard box that went just wide. Brazil continued to press for the rest of the half and even thought they had scored a goal, but Roberto Firmino was correctly called for a foul just before he found the back of the net.
At halftime, a high-level game was somehow goalless, but the feeling was that would definitely change in the final period.
Gabriel Jesus came on to start the second half, and his hunger to press and fire shots at goal energized Brazil even more, and the Seleção amped up the pressure. Once again they thought they’d scored through Jesus, but the goal was disallowed for an offside on Firmino in the buildup.
Despite the Brazilians creating loads of chances and putting a lot of pressure on the visitors early in the half, as time went on they became more frustrated and started to lack ideas in the final third, while Venezuela had no interest in counter attacking and were very comfortable staying compact at the back and looking to keep the clean sheet.
For a third time in the game Brazil thought they had the winner after a fabulous solo run by Everton resulted in a tap-in by Philippe Coutinho, but the ball hit an offside Firmino before going in and the goal was once again disallowed by VAR. With almost 10 minutes of injury time Brazil sent everyone forward looking for the winner, but they could not find it and the game ended with a gigantic point for Venezuela.
Brazil: Alisson; D. Alves, Marquinhos, T. Silva, F. Luís; Arthur, Casemiro (Fernandinho); Richarlison (G. Jesus), Coutinho, D. Neres (Everton); Firmino
Venezuela: Fariñez; Hernández, Osorio, Villanueva, Rosales; Moreno; Murillo, Herrera (Soteldo), Rincón, Machís (Figuera); Rondón (Martínez)