Good evening everyone and welcome to our live coverage as Brazil take on Peru in Group C of the Copa America
. Brazilian coach Dunga
will be looking to get some sections of the press off his back following some lacklustre performances in the build-up to this tournament with a win in their opening game.
Dunga has produced a decent turnaround in Brazil's fortunes given the state of affairs following their departure from last year's World Cup. As it stands, Canarinho have put together 10 straight victories and will fancy their chances in this tournament - especially given the inclusion of Barcelona forward Neymar in their squad.
Despite putting together an impressive run of victories, this Brazil side has not been exempt from criticism. Following their recent 1-0 victory over Honduras last week, some sections of the Brazil support condemned their side to boos and jeers. Tonight's opening fixture should give the Brazilian players a chance to get themselves moving again in an attacking sense.
One facet of Brazil's game people can be happy with is their defence. This current Brazil side have only conceded two goals since September of last year, and that measures up wonderfully when compared to the back-end of their World Cup campaign in which they conceded 10 goals in two fixtures.
Peru coach Ricardo Gareca
comes into this clash having managed his team for just two fixtures so tonight might be a little bit of an experiment in tactics. His side have always done fairly well in this tournament, with four quarter-finals and two semi-finals being achieved in their last six appearances in the Copa.
Things have not been going too well for the Peruvians of late, however, given that their only memorable victory came in the form of a win against Paraguay last September. Gareca might be boosted by their recent 1-1 draw against Mexico, though
Should Peru get anything from this game tonight it will doubtless be down to the likes of Paolo Guerrero
, Jefferson Farfan
and Claudio Pizarro
. They'll certainly be the experienced players to watch out for this evening.
Some team news for you now...
BRAZIL STARTING XI
; Dani Alves
, Miranda, David Luiz
, Filipe Luis; Fernandinho, Elias; Willian
, Neymar; Tardelli
PERU STARTING XI: Gallese; Advincula, Zambrano, Ascues, Vargas; Ballon, Lobaton; Farfan, Sanchez, Cueva; Guerrero
Many had expected Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho
to start for Brazil this evening, but he's picked up an injury during training and does not even make the bench. Diego Tardelli starts ahead of Roberto Firmino up top, while Neymar, Willian
provide further attacking support from a little deeper. Recent Champions League winner Dani Alves
also features at right-back
Luckily for Peru, main man Jefferson Farfan
gets handed a start despite some sections of the press suggesting that he had suffered from an allergic reaction to medication in the build-up to today's game. As you might have guessed the heavily experienced Guerrero starts alone in attack, with Farfan, Joel Sanchez
and Christian Cueva
providing the creativity from midfield.
I think it's time for me to give a prediction... I don't see this fixture being too much of a problem for Brazil and I'll think they'll win by an impressive margin. Given the attacking quality on show in this team, combined with their recent defensive exploits, I'm going to go 3-0 in favour of Dunga's men.
Both sets of players have now emerged onto the field as we get going with the national anthems and team photographs ahead of kickoff. We've got a loud atmosphere here in Temuco, with lots of Brazilian support in the stadium.
Brazil will feature in their usual yellow home strip tonight, while Peru turn out in rather garish red.
KICKOFF! Brazil get the ball moving after Roberto Garcia's whistle sounds. The ball is moved straight back to the yellow defensive line as Brazil look to build an attack from defence.
Alves finds his passing boots early on as he pings a delightful cross-field ball into the path of Neymar, leaving Peru to get across and cut out the danger at the final moment. Incisive stuff already!
GOAL! BRAZIL 0-1 PERU (CHRISTIAN CUEVA)
Wow, what a start we have here! Brazil find themselves a goal behind following some shocking defending from David Luiz. The Paris Saint-Germain defender lets the ball needlessly run through to his keeper without tracking his man, forcing Jefferson into a terrible clearance straight into the path of the on-rushing Cueva. The playmaker takes one good to before rifling beyond the Brazilian stopper.
GOAL! BRAZIL 1-1 PERU (NEYMAR)
Well that didn't last too long, did it? Brazil restart the game and the ball is sent straight down the right-flank to Alvez, who takes a touch to move the ball out from his feet before putting in a wonderful ball on a postage stamp for Neymar. The Barcelona forward drops off his man perfectly before sending a bullet header beyond a helpless Gallese.
Perhaps that first goal has knocked Brazil into life. I'm sure they won't be defending like that ever again. The men in yellow are starting to spray the ball across the face of the pitch to use its width to full effect. Fred finds himself with space on the right flank and he has three teammates to aim for in the middle. Instead he goes for the shot, leaving Gallese to tip wide for a corner.
Brazil show great passing intent again, this time as Willian curls a pass across the face of the box with his outstep to find Neymar. The frontman takes a touch before whipping a shot just wide across the face of goal. That was close!
CLOSE! Peru almost gift a goal away as they lose the ball on the half-way line. Brazil break through Neymar, who then feeds the ball late to Willian. The playmaker cuts the ball back inside, leaving Neymar with the chance to convert into an almost-empty net. However, Zambrano pulls off a last-ditch sliding attempt to block his shot on its way into the net. Great defending.
Neither side is afraid of going forward this evening. Brazil show more intent down the right this time as Willian cuts a pass back to Fred on the edge of the box, only for Zambrano to get across again to make a timely interception.
Brazil are starting to find their feet in the passing department, with Willian running things from midfield. Peru are looking expansive too, especially with Farfan looking to make runs in behind Luiz.
CLOSE! The right flank is proving productive for Dunga's men in these early exchanges. Alves is given far too much space again and he sends in an inch-perfect cross for Tardelli, who appears unmarked just short of the six-yard area. He probably has time to take the ball down and shoot, but instead he sends a poor looping header over the crossbar. He surely had more time than he realised then...
Peru are giving as good as they're getting now. Farfan picks up the ball on the half-way mark before producing a mesmerising foray towards the Brazilian box, beating two defenders in the process. He whips a cross into the path of Cueva, who has Alves to beat. The Brazilian right-back does really well to cover for his side and Dunga's men finally clear the danger.
This is moving from end to end at the moment. Alves is the danger man for Brazil now as he moves down the right. Neymar picks up his run with a movement in behind his marker. Alves releases the ball only for Ascues to get across at the vital moment.
YELLOW CARD! Peru frontman Guerrero gets a booking for going in hard on Alves. He does win the ball, but the challenge looks a little hefty and has left his opponent grimacing on the deck.
Peru are enjoying a nice spell of possession as Alves awaits his return from the touchline. Lobaton does well on the left flank to send a decent cross into the path of Guerrero in the middle of the box, but Miranda clears the danger with his head.
Gareca's side are evidently growing in confidence and they almost create something again as Guerrero scampers free before Fernandinho gets an important foot in to prevent the Peruvian striker from getting a shot away.
CLOSE! Back come Brazil, though, this time through Willian who drives forward before dropping a shoulder and forcing a shot off towards the far post. It looks like it might be curling in, only for the ball to bend just a little too wide of the upright.
Willian is looking almost unplayable at times this evening. He's involved once more having latched onto a pass from Alves, who beats two men to find his teammate. The Chelsea midfielder sticks a smart cross up to the back-post, but Peru manage to clear before Neymar can make his move.
SHOT! Signs that Peru could be dangerous on the counter-attack now. Lobaton is found in space and he doesn't think twice about having a go from all of 25 yards, with his shot forcing Jefferson into a smart stop at his top-right corner.
Neymar shows some skill now with a nice step-over to buy a cheap free kick on the edge of the area. Somehow he gets booked as he lines up his shot from distance, much to the dismay of Brazil's talisman. Neymar looks for the top corner with a challenging wall to beat, only for his effort to sail high and wide without troubling the keeper.
HALF TIME: BRAZIL 1-1 PERU
That's probably got to be the most entertaining first half we've had in the tournament thus far. Both sides have looked good going forward, with Brazil perhaps edging this encounter by a slither. Peru have been equally impressive though, especially in and around the Brazil box.
Alves and Willian have arguably been the most impressive players on the pitch this evening, with Farfan playing well for Peru too. Willian has completely controlled the midfield and is at the centre of most of his side's attacking moves.
Dunga will be fairly pleased with what he's seen from his side, although the defending that led to Peru's opener was shocking. They seem to have tightened up since then. The Brazil coach will be hoping they can further exploit their opponents down the right flank again in the second period, while Neymar's direct running down the centre has caused problems too and might be something Brazil will try to do more of after the break.
Brazil have so far had eight shots compared to Peru's three, however only three of the yellow's attempts have been on target. Dunga's men have dominated possession having shared 60.2% of the ball in the first half, but they've lacked a cutting edge in front of goal. Peru won't mind the possessional statistics too much, given that they know they can do damage on the counter.
Brazil have a few good options on the bench should things not work out as planned in the second period. Of course Roberto Firmino is capable of finding the net when required, while Douglas Costa
and Everton Ribeiro both have the potential to unlock defences.
We're not too far away from the start of the second half. I still fancy Brazil to win this game, but they're going to need to be a little more incisive in the final third of the pitch.
The players are back out on the pitch in Chile... We'll soon be ready to go!
KICKOFF! Peru get things moving again in this second lot of 45 minutes. The ball is hiked forward into the chest of Guerrero, but Brazil steal in to win the ball back with relative ease.
A rather sloppy beginning to the second half as neither side is able to keep possession for more than few passes. It looks as though Tardelli nips the ball from Ascues to gain passage in behind the defence only for the referee to blow for a free kick in favour of Peru.
We haven't really got going as yet, the play is stopped yet again as Fernandinho catches Zambrano in the middle of the centre circle. Brazil regain possession and look to take the sting out of things by keeping it for a few exchanges.
Willian at the forefront now with a forceful run towards the Peru box. Tardelli gives him an option on the overlap and the midfielder obliges with a simple pass wide. The striker's cross into the box is a poor one, though, leaving the Reds to clear without issue.
CROSSBAR! Neymar almost puts Brazil in front only to be unluckily denied by the frame of the Peru goal. It comes as the forward finds himself with space on the edge of the box before striking viciously with very little back-lift. The ball flies quickly beyond a helpless Gallese, only to crash back against the underside of the bar and clear.
Willian continues to make more inroads into the Peru defence, this time with a promising run that cuts inside from the right. It appears as if he's going to find room for a shot, but he doesn't account for Ascues who get across to make the challenge.
The Chelsea playmaker sets the table yet again with a wonderful ball whipped across the face of the box, with Neymar getting beyond his marker just a little too late to connect with a header. Brazil are getting closer and closer...
Advincula has been really solid for Peru this evening. He makes a vital interception at the back-post to prevent a cross from Alvez causing problems for his side.
Cueva has also appeared promising when given time and space. This time he shows great feet in a pressured area to beat Alvez, but luckily Miranda reads the play well and makes a good challenge to thwart the Peru winger and spare Brazil's blushes.
Fred hasn't quite got into this game as we had expected. He's given very little room on the left wing and is marshalled out of play by the Peruvian defence as he looks to beat the full-back.
SUBSTITUTION: Brazil make a change with Douglas Costa coming on to replace frontman Tardelli.
Brazil put together a lovely collection of passes as Willian and Neymar exchange the ball on the edge of the area. The ball finally breaks back to the feet of the Chelsea man and he fires off a dangerous-looking shot towards goal, leaving Advincula to make a terrific block to deny what appeared to be a certain goal.
Peru are still making a real fist of this match despite having done very little in an attacking sense in the second period. They're hanging on in there and could still grab something from this game in the closing stages.
Hmm... It should be game over. Neymar finds himself with acres of space on the left side of the box. The frontman drops from one shoulder to another as he looks to get a shot off on goal. Advincula is having none of it and isn't swayed by the dummies. He steps forward to steal the ball from Neymar and Peru clear.
CLOSE! Magnificent play from Neymar as he tries to make amends. The frontman breaks away to steal the ball from Advincula following a Peru corner. Neymar continues at pace towards the visitors' goal before squaring the ball across to Costa who has space to find a finish. Instead of chipping beyond the keeper, the substitute tries to cut the ball back across the face of goal and Neymar is unable to connect. The Barcelona striker looks on in disbelief...
Firmino seeks to skip past Zambrano, but the Frankfurt defender is able to stand up to his fellow Bundesliga opponent, allowing Peru to clear. Can someone grab the all-important third goal in this game? This could be a precious point for Peru as it stands...
SUBSTITUTION: Peru make a change with Carrillo coming on in place of Farfan. He should add some valuable against a tiring Brazilian defence.
YELLOW CARD! Juan Vargas goes into the book for a poor challenge on Douglas Costa.
Brazil have dominated these past few minutes of the game as they look to grab an important second goal for the team. They still haven't been able to do much in terms of breaking down their opponents, though. Alves shows his frustration with an effort from distance that is blocked on its way to goal.
SUBSTITUTION: The excellent Willian comes off in place of Everton Ribeiro as Brazil make their final change of the game.
Guerrero is doing all he can to ensure that his side earn at least a point from this game. The striker does brilliantly to bring the ball out of the air and win a time-wasting free kick.
CLOSE! Neymar almost does it in the dying embers of the game. He finds himself with space in the centre of the box, but is put under pressure by a timely sliding tackle from Zambrano. The attempt doesn't seem to bother the forward, though, and he still manages to get his shot away, only to see the curling effort bend just the wrong side of the Peru post.
We're going to have four minutes of additional time here in Chile. Can either side find a goal to win the game?
GOAL! BRAZIL 2-1 PERU (DOUGLAS COSTA)
They've done it! Costa grabs Brazil a winning goal in injury time. Neymar is the architect, however, as he produces a defence-splitting ball to find Costa free at the back-post. He sees Gallese sprinting off his line but doesn't panic with a finish that flies coolly beyond the keeper.
FULL TIME: BRAZIL 2-1 PERU
What a fantastic finish to the game... Brazil perhaps deserved that outcome given they seemed the side more intent on taking three points from the fixture. Peruvian hearts must be broken, but they've proven that they could be a tough side to beat for the other members of Group C. Neymar has arguably been the difference, with that last-minute ball the product of a player with incredible talent and vision. That's all from me tonight, goodnight!