The reigning champions’ aim to defend their title is still alive as Brazil reached the 2021 Copa America final with a 1-0 win against Peru courtesy of a first-half goal from Lucas Paqueta, who also scored the winner in their 1-0 quarter-final win over Chile. Brazil, which beat Peru without Neymar to win the 2019 Copa America, is now looking for a 10th continental title. Follow our Asian bookies football now!
Paqueta, who started in the semis following Gabriel Jesus’ red card, found the back of the net off an assist from Neymar for the game’s lone goal. “Paquetá is a great player, he is growing in every match for the national team. He had a great season at Lyon and he is showing he can be a very important player for us,” Neymar said. “I am happy for the match he played, he was great.”
Paquetá scored the winners against Chile and Peru in the knockout stage, played in five out of six matches and became a frontrunner to take a position that once belonged to Philippe Coutinho. One of Tite’s assistants, former Brazil midfielder César Sampaio, said recently that Paquetá has given “positive surprises” during his time at Copa America.
“We didn’t know he could perform in some functions, and he is doing them very well,” Sampaio said. “This athlete can do his part, which is more in transitions and skills, but he also also contributes defensively. He is very productive.” Argentina and Colombia will play for the other place in the decider this week. After the match, Neymar also expressed his desire to face Argentina in the finals.
“I want Argentina in the final,” Neymar said after the match at the Nilton Santos Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. “I am cheering for them because I have many friends there. In the final, Brazil will win,” he added. The last time the two sides met in a Copa America final was in 2007, when Brazil won 3-0 in Venezuela. The title match will take place over the weekend.
Brazil’s contender can either be Argentina or Colombia who will square off this week. Argentina have been very impressive so far, winning every game they’ve played in the tournament after sharing spoils against Chile in their opening match. Meanwhile, Colombia had to go all the way to post match penalties before sealing the win against Uruguay following a 0-0 draw in regular time.
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