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  • Brazil players celebrate winning the Copa America with the trophy.

    Brazil players celebrate winning the Copa America with the trophy. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 July 2019

The match was highly anticipated as the Brazilian national team had strolled through the first stages scoring 13 goals and finally only receiving one against by Peru in the final.

Brazil won in home soil after 12 years of not lifting the Copa America trophy by beating Peru 3-1 in the final on Sunday at the legendary Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

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The match was highly anticipated as the Brazilian national team had strolled through the first stages scoring 13 goals and finally only receiving one against by Peru in the final. While Peru, who had a rocky start, showed a high level of playing in the later stages to reach the final hoping to spoil Brazil.

Yet since the group stage, Brazil positioned themselves s the clear favorite, as they won two games against Bolivia and Peru and drew with Venezuela. The quarterfinals had them face Paraguay, defeating them in a penalty shoot-out. 

The semifinal was a South American classic against their football rivals Argentina. The controversial game had the Brazilians winning a ticket to the final. 

The final game began with a strong Peru defense as the Brazilian team had few spaces in the first quarter of an hour of the match. However, at minute 15, with a precision pass from Gabriel Jesus, the striker Everton marked the first goal of the game. 

Peru’s top player Paolo Guerrero leveled the match with a penalty in the 44-minute as the first half was finishing. Nevertheless,  due to an error by the Peruvian side, Gabriel Jesus scored the second goal in additional time prior to half-time. 

The second-half saw a charging Peruvian side that came very close to leveling the game, especially when the man of the match, Gabriel Jesus was sent off. Yet it wasn’t enough and in the final minutes of the game, as desperation set in, the Peruvian defense conceded a penalty, which Richarlison's clinched to secure the game. 

This way the XLVI edition of the oldest international continental football competition has come to an end. The competition was not spared of controversy, as internationally renowned Lionel Messi accused the South American Confederation of Football (Conmebol) of corruption and using the video assistant referee (VAR) system of favor the host nation. 

According to conservative Brazilian magazine Veja, far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, who presented the trophy and medals to the players, was booed at the end of the match by the public attending. 

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