The 2019 Copa America has come to an end, and the hosts have won it: Brazil are the champions thanks to a 3-1 win against Peru at the Maracanã. The Seleção dominated the match despite playing the final 20 minutes with 10 men, and Barcelona’s Arthur delivered a 90-minute Man of the Match performance while Philippe Coutinho also worked hard and a good game. Brazil have their first trophy in six years, and finish the tournament with a great showing at one of the best stadiums in the world.
The first half was as comfortble as possible for the Seleção: thanks to an early goal on a beautiful move and cross by Jesus and a great volley by Everton, Brazil established themselves as the dominant force and kept possession to stop Peru from getting any rhythm.
Brazil’s midfield was finally as good as expected, with Casemiro, Arthur and Coutinho looking active and positive and helping create some important chances. The best opportunity for a second Brazil goal came on a cross by Sandro and a header by Firmino over the bar, but as we reached the end of the half the Seleção couldn’t double their lead despite having complete control.
And then things got interesting: Thiago Silva was called for a handball inside the box and Guerrero equalized from the spot, and Peru made the entire Maracanã very nervous. But there was one more late twist: Arthur went on a beautiful run in midfield against three defenders and found Jesus with a gorgeous assist, and Brazil led 2-1 at halftime.
The hosts continued to paly well and control things in midfield, and Arthur was especially good in the first 20 minutes of the half with short and long passes, runs with the ball to get away from pressure and plenty of link-ups with the attacking players. But the Seleção struggled to create chances, and they still had a one-goal lead after 70 minutes.
It was in the 70th minute that Gabriel Jesus was sent off after a second yellow, and Peru would play the last 20 minutes against 10 men as they searched for an equalizer. Tite made a couple of substitutions to make his team more physical and defensive as Brazil just tried to survive the end of the game.
Brazil did a great job pressuring the ball and not allowing the visitors to bring any danger to Alisson’s goal, and then Everton did a spectacular job chasing a ball in the box to win a penalty in the 90th minute. Richarlison buried it, and Brazil killed the game.
The final whistle came, and the Seleção have their first senior trophy since the 2013 Confederations Cup. Arthur was Man of the Match, Coutinho was solid, and two Barcelona players will return to Catalonia as champions.
Brazil: Alisson; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Sandro; Arthur, Casemiro; Jesus, Coutinho (Militão), Everton; Firmino (Richarlison)
Goals: Everton (15’), Jesus (45’+2), Richarlison (90’)
Red Cards: Jesus (70’)
Peru: Gallese; Advíncula, Zambrano, Abram, Trauco; Tapia (González), Yotún (Ruidíaz); Carillo, Cueva, Flores; Guerrero
Goals: Guerrero (44’)