Brazil edged a gutsy Peru 1-0 to progress to the finals of the 2021 Copa America hosted in their home country. The Selecao showed a different side to their game after they had won their previous meeting against Peru 4-0 in the group stage.
Determined to put on a better performance than in their group stage hammering, Peru started the game by trying to play on the front foot, but the quality of the Brazil side quickly overwhelmed them. They defended resolutely, with goalkeeper Pedro Gallese making numerous top saves, including a double save at point-blank range to deny Neymar and Richarlison. Neymar’s technical superiority was, however, key to giving Brazil a deserved lead. The PSG superstar dribbled past three defenders on his own in the Peru penalty area using an array of flicks and a cheeky nutmeg before putting it on a plate for Lucas Paqueta to score the winner for the second game running in the 35th minute. Brazil’s goal seemed to spur the Peruvians into life in the second half as they pushed back their opponents and made them sweat for their win as they look to secure back to back Copa America titles.
Brazil’s qualification means they will face one of Argentina or Colombia in the 2021 Copa America final on Sunday. The match represents a chance for Neymar to fully claim his superstar status back home as he has never been part of a major title-winning Selecao side throughout his career.