Copa America Centenario: Peru get controversial win over Brazil
Willian with the ball. Photo: Stephen Furst

FOXBOROUGH, MA— Following the result of Ecuador against Haiti, in which the South American side won 4-0, both teams needed a win to see who would play Colombia in the quarterfinals of the Copa America Centenario on Friday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Brazil only needed a win or a draw, while Peru needed to win this one or face elimination from the tournament.

Frustrating half for the Brazilians

Starting off the match, Brazil were consistent enough to attack as much as they can going forward. In the fourth minute, Philippe Coutinho played the ball to the right of Willian, in which the Chelsea winger played the ball to Filipe Luis, and has a chance to score, but it was cleared out by Adan Balbin and forced for a corner. Gabriel Barbosa almost had a chance to score a few minutes later but was denied by goalkeeper Pedro Gallese for the first goal. 

Following a bad pass from Balbin, Luis had a chance to score and on target, the Atletico Madrid fullback released a shot, but it was ultimately saved by Gallese and forced out for the corner, that didn’t allow to anything. Brazil continued to pressure on and on, with much more clear opportunities going forward onto goal than that of the Incan side.

In the 27th minute, following a counterattack, Elias played the ball to the center to Gabriel Barbosa and with a chance on goal only to be denied by Gallese yet again with a diving spot that was forced out for a corner. In the 36th minute, Luis played a ball to Willian into the center of the box but his shot went up and wide of Gallese’s goal. Barbosa again played a ball on the right and again, Gallese was able to make a fantastic save on the edge of the box that ended up forced out for a corner.  All in all, it was a half in which Brazil definitely had many more chances than that of Peru, but failed to score on the given opportunities that they were given. 

Guerrero and Coutinho. Photo: Stephen Furst
Paolo Guerrero and Phillppe Coutinho. Photo: Stephen Furst

The Hand of Inca

In the second half, Peru started on the upper hand with their first big chance of the match. Christian Cueva was given a free kick just outside the box, but his shot was saved by Alisson and taken out of the box by the International goalkeeper. In the 53rd minute, Cueva again has a chance to score the opener for Peru but his free kick went up and wide of Alisson’s goal.

Nine minutes later, following a ball from Dani Alves, Coutinho yet again has a shot on goal but it was parried out by Gallese and back to the Peruvian attack. In the 69th minute, Coutinho continuing with his various chances was once against denied by Gallese, as he was able to make an easy save from the Liverpool midfielder.

Finally in the 75th minute, the ball was played from Andy Polo on the right and was scored by Raul Ruidiaz. However, controversy struck when referee Andres Cunha wanted to call it back due to a handball from the cross. After that, the Brazilian players went straight to the linesman complaining of an intentional handball. Nevertheless, the Uruguayan referee called the goal and gave the Peruvians the lead, despite the clear handball being made on video replay.

Nevertheless, Peru held on and got their famous victory and first win since 1975 against the five-time FIFA World Cup champions and will face Colombia at MetLife Stadium on Friday night in the quarterfinals of the tournament as winners of Group B, meaning another big elimination of a powerhouse of South America that includes Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay now.