Brasilia, July 6 (MNN) Brasil defeated Peru 1-0 in the first semi-final of CONMEBOL Copa América 2021 and enter the final.
The final will be played on Saturday at Estadio Maracana. The host nation will play the winner of Tuesday’s other semi-final between Argentina and Colombia.
As with the quarter-finals against Chile, the scorer of the only goal for Tite’s side was Lucas Paquetá who was once again vital in the host’s win at the Estadio Mané Garrincha de Brasilia on Monday night (local time).
Brazil went out to take the game to Gareca’s side from the start with the Peruvians working hard to stay compact and limit their opponents to efforts from outside the box.
With 7 minutes on the watch, Paquetá set up Richarlison who rounded Pedro Gallese but couldn’t find the angle for the finish himself and failed to set Neymar up for the opener.
The Peruvian goalkeeper was star of the first half and he made an important save from a Casemira freekick, parrying the ball out of danger.
This was the start of a number of incredible saves from Gallese. He denied Casemiro once again from the edge of the area and followed it up with a spectacular double save, first from a Neymar freekick and then Richarlison’s follow up on the rebound.
With Brazil chasing the opener, Peru found it very difficult to threaten the Brazilian box. The five defenders deployed Gareca was also struggling to keep Brazil at bay and finally on 34 minutes they broke the deadlock.
Neymar created the chance with a moment of magci that took three Peruvian defenders out of the game before setting up Paquetá for a left footed finish to make it 2 in 2 for the Lyon midfielder.
After the break emerged with more attacking inpetus and began to create some good chances of their own.
Early into the half Gianluca Lapadula skipped past Thiago Silva and hit a powerful shot which was well saved by Ederson. Moments later Raziel García shot from distance and the ball flew narrowly wide.
With 15 minutes gone in the second half García tried again from outside the box which was well saved by Ederson with the Manchester City becoming increasingly important for Brazil.
A less dominant Brazilian side were still able to create good chances to finish the game. Éverton Sousa and Neymar both had efforts on goal but neither could get that important second.
Gareca’s side remained in the game until the final whistle and it was far closer than their previous three meetings in the 2019 and 2021 Copa America.