Good morning and welcome to Sports Mole
's live commentary of the Copa America
clash between Brazil and Venezuela
at the Estadio Fonte Nova. Brazil started their Group A campaign with a 2-0 win over Bolivia on Friday night. Venezuela, meanwhile, opened their tournament with a goalless draw against Peru. What will occur tonight? Stay tuned right here to find out!
BRAZIL: Alisson; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Luis; Arthur, Casemiro; Richarlison, Coutinho, Neres; Firmino
VENEZUELA: Farinez; Rosales, Osorio, Villanueva, Hernandez; Moreno; Machis, Herrera, Rincon, Murillo; Rondon
Brazil boss Tite has made one change to the team that started against Bolivia and it comes in midfield as Arthur replaces Fernandinho. There had been suggestions that Gabriel Jesus
could replace Roberto Firmino at centre-forward but that is not the case, with the Liverpool forward again selected. Richarlison and David Neres also both keep their positions in the XI.
As for Venezuela, midfielder Luis Mago is suspended for this match following his red card against Peru last time out. Salomon Rondon will again lead the line, but there is no spot in the XI for Jefferson Savarino, which might disappoint Newcastle United and West Ham United, with the pair reportedly having scouts at this game to have a look at the Real Salt Lake attacker.
The Selecao are the strong favourites to put another three points on the board, but Venezuela have a number of talented players and are certainly capable of making it a difficult game. Right, we are just about ready for kickoff in Bahia - stay tuned for live text updates of the action!
KICKOFF: Brazil kick things off in this Group A clash...
... Brazil are no longer top of Group A with Peru beating Bolivia earlier this evening to move onto four points in the section. A win for Tite's side here, though, would see them advance.
It has been a bright start from the Brazilians, who are in their yellow strip tonight. Luis has just attempted to find Thiago Silva with a deep cross, but the captain cannot make contact.
Just a reminder that Rondon leads the line for Venezuela. The centre-forward has just headed towards the Brazil goal, but Alisson gathers comfortably. The Selecao then look to build from the back once again with Casemiro taking possession before finding Neres in a wide area.
Machis makes ground down the Brazil right before delivering low towards Rondon, but Marquinhos is on hand to make the clearance. The Selecao then look to break once again, only for Casemiro to be fouled in the middle of the park. Still goalless with eight minutes on the clock.
As expected, it is a 4-1-4-1 formation for Venezuela, with their team showing three changes from the one which started against Peru. Skipper Rincon has seen lots of the ball in the opening 10 minutes and Rondon has been well supported by his teammates in the final third.
Not too much from Brazil going forward in the first 12 minutes - well not clear chances anyway. Richarlison has been bright in a wide position, though, with another of his low crosses cleared by Osorio, who is joined by Villanueva at the heart of the Venezuela defence for this match.
CLOSE! Firmino heads a decent cross from Alves over the Venezuelan crossbar.
Neres finds space in a decent position before looking to pick out a teammate inside the box, but there are no takers on the delivery from the Ajax attacker, who continues to be linked with Everton.
Brazil were pretty poor in the first half against Bolivia, but really warmed up in the second period. The Selecao have started well here, though, and Venezuela are defending for their lives.
CHANCE! Big chance for the host nation to take the lead as Neres finds space inside the Venezuelan box before pulling the trigger, but his effort is wide of the post. Should have scored!
SAVE! Really smart save from Farinez this time to keep out a low strike from Richarlison, who had worked some space inside the penalty box before firing towards the bottom corner.
CHANCE! Big chance for Venezuela this time as Rondon climbs highest inside the box to meet a dangerous cross, but the striker's header just drops wide of Alisson's post!
Good pressure from Venezuela in the last couple of minutes as they force two corners in quick succession, but Brazil manage to clear their lines. It is an even game at the moment.
Just a reminder that a win for Brazil would see them book their spot in the quarter-finals with a match to spare. This is quite similar to the Bolivia match in the first period, although Brazil are looking more dangerous in this game, having already created some really good chances.
Rondon looks for Murillo as Venezuela threaten on the break, but Luis is back to make the challenge. The underdogs are looking dangerous, though, and Marquinhos has to clear a low cross from Rincon in the next phase, with Rondon waiting to convert from close range.
SAVE! Comfortable save for Alisson to keep out a long-range effort from Machis, who decided to have a go from distance after Alves cleared towards the number seven. No real danger there.
Rondon has certainly been a threat to Brazil in the first 28 minutes here...
Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining and we are still goalless. Brazil have been good without really hitting full flow. Venezuela can be pleased with their first 30 minutes here.
Pass, pass, pass from Brazil as they attempt to work some space. Venezuela are still in their 4-1-4-1 formation, though, and it is proving very difficult to break through as Moreno is sitting in front of a compact defensive unit. Brazil have to move the ball a little bit quicker here.
SHOT! Alves sends one into orbit after a half-cleared free kick had landed at the right-back's feet. Venezuela will not mind shots from that distance!
Neres continues to find all sorts of space down the left, but Brazil have not really worked the ball into the attacker since he missed that early chance. Still goalless in this Group A clash.
YELLOW CARD! Murillo (Venezuela) is booked for a poor challenge on Thiago Silva.
Neres continues to cause the Venezuelan defence problems, but the score is still goalless as we head for the final stages of what has been an open first half of football here.
DISALLOWED GOAL! Brazil have the ball in the back of the net as Firmino spins and fires home, but the referee blows for a free kick on Villanueva. That was much better from the host nation, though.
All Brazil in terms of pressure at the moment as they continue to find space in a forward position, but Alves's latest cross is cleared by Moreno with Venezuela still defending well.
YELLOW CARD! Casemiro (Brazil) is booked for a foul on Murillo.
Another frustrating half of football for Brazil, but they turned it on in the second period against Bolivia last time out and will be hoping for a similar second-half performance in this game.
Much has been said and written about Neymar over the last few weeks, but Brazil miss him so, so much. Can they win this summer's Copa America without him? It remains to be seen!
Just the one additional minute at the end of the first period.
HALF TIME: BRAZIL 0-0 VENEZUELA
So there we have it - the referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 0-0. Brazil have had more of the ball and indeed created the better chances, but Venezuela have also had some very positive moments. The home fans are not pleased with the first half here!
STATISTICS! Brazil had 75% possession in the first 45 minutes, but hit the target with just one of their six attempts, which will disappoint head coach Tite. Venezuela, meanwhile, hit the target with one of their three attempts. Both teams have picked up first-half yellow cards, meanwhile, with Murillo booked in the 37th minute and Casemiro joining him four minutes later.
BENCH WATCH! Brazil's bench is packed full of attacking talent, with Alex Sandro, Willian, Gabriel Jesus and Everton just some of the options available ahead of the second period. Venezuela, meanwhile, have striker Joseph Martinez in reserve, in addition to Jefferson Savarino, who has been linked with both West Ham United and Newcastle United in the English press.
KICKOFF: Venezuela resume the action here...
... BRAZIL SUB! Brazil have made a change at the interval with Gabriel Jesus replacing Richarlison, who struggled to get going in the first 45 minutes of action.
You do get the feeling that this game is there for Brazil if they can step it up - much like the Bolivia clash on Friday night. That said, Venezuela will have been encouraged by their performance in the first period and will be eyeing a shock win over the host nation.
All Brazil in terms of possession at the moment but they are struggling to work space in the final third. The Selecao will need to be patient if they are to win this match.
Gabriel Jesus dances into the Venezuelan box and eventually the ball comes for Arthur, but the midfielder's shot is blocked by Moreno as the underdogs continue to defend well here.
Coutinho scored twice against Bolivia on Friday night but we have not seen too much from the Barcelona attacker tonight. The Selecao have just had a half-chance as Firmino climbed highest inside the box, but his header was never troubling Farinez, who has been comfortable.
SHOT! Plenty of possession for Brazil at the moment, but not too much else. Firmino has just hit one from outside the penalty box, but it was always moving wide of the post.
Little over 30 minutes of the second period remaining and we still wait for the first goal of this Group A clash. A win for Brazil would see them advance to the quarter-finals.
BRAZIL SUB! Fernandinho replaces Casemiro for the host nation.
GOAL! BRAZIL 1-0 VENEZUELA (GABRIEL JESUS)
Finally the breakthrough! Brazil take the lead on the hour mark as Gabriel Jesus finds the back of the net from close range after a clever pass from Firmino inside the penalty box. Jesus had seen his initial effort blocked but eventually had the chance to score from close range!
The referee wants to have a look at the monitor following that goal. VAR...
DISALLOWED GOAL! ... oh my goodness! No goal! The referee has disallowed Gabriel Jesus's goal for offside! Firmino is the player who has been penalised and it looks to be the correct decision.
Little over 25 minutes of the second period remaining and we are still goalless. Can Brazil find a goal? Not too much of an attacking threat from Venezuela in the second period here.
VENEZUELA SUB! Soteldo replaces Herrera for Venezuela here.
Brazil boss Tite can make one more change in this match and you wonder whether Willian might be the best option from the bench. The Selecao are in need of some inspiration here.
Better from Venezuela in the last few minutes in terms of an attacking threat, but that will leave more space for Brazil down the other end of the field. You do get the feeling that there is at least one goal in the final 20 minutes, but Venezuela are certainly capable of scoring it.
SHOT! Arthur fizzes one over the Venezuelan crossbar from distance.
Everton has been called back to the bench and will be Brazil's third and final change. He came off the sidelines to score a wonderful goal against Bolivia and more of the same is needed.
BRAZIL SUB! Brazil's third change sees Neres replaced by Everton.
Brazil continue to deliver crosses into the Venezuelan box, but the 'away side' have defended excellently tonight. Just another 15 minutes or so and a well-earned point will be secured.
Rondon gathers the ball and Venezuela have a rare chance to break forward in this second period, but Luis is back to make the challenge and Brazil are soon back on the front foot.
VENEZUELA SUB! Figuera replaces Machis in Venezuela's second change.
Still just the one shot on target for Brazil, which is really not good enough. Gabriel Jesus has just gone down inside the box claiming a penalty, but play continues.
We are into the final 10 minutes and are still looking for the first goal of the match. Brazil are really struggling to find that final pass here with Coutinho, Firmino and Everton all guilty of losing the ball in the last few minutes. Is there going to be a late winner in this Group A clash?
Moreno has just been down receiving some treatment for Venezuela, meaning that there is going to be a fairly lengthy period of stoppage time at the end of the 90 minutes here.
Still all Brazil in terms of possession and forward passes, but there are just no opportunities at the moment and the clock is ticking on. Brazil have been poor tonight to be honest.
VENEZUELA SUB! Martinez replaces Rondon.
GOAL! BRAZIL 1-0 VENEZUELA (COUTINHO)
There's the goal and it stands! Brazil take the lead in the 87th minute as a cross from Everton eventually drops for Coutinho, who cannot miss from close range. It is very, very tough on Venezuela. Brazil, though, finally register to close in on what would be a second Group A win.
Would you believe it! VAR are now having a look at the Coutinho goal...
DISALLOWED GOAL! No goal! Incredible! Either disallowed for what looked to be a potential handball from Firmino, or the fact that the forward was standing in an offside position. Still goalless!
YELLOW CARD! Figuera (Venezuela) is booked for a foul on Everton.
We are into the third of seven additional minutes at the end of the match.
Luis flashes a low cross towards the far post, but there are no takers. Still goalless as we head for the final minutes of this Group A clash, which is incredibly still all square at 0-0.
Venezuela have managed to ease some of the pressure with a period of possession in the last minute or two, meaning that there is not long left now. Brazil are going to have to score in their next attack or so if they are to collect all three points with some late drama here.
Hernandez is being stretched off the pitch for Venezuela here.
CLOSE! Fernandinho heads a cross from Coutinho wide of the post.
Into the ninth minute of added time we go and the score is still level. Venezuela are so close to securing what would be an excellent point. The referee has to think about blowing up now.
CLOSE! Fernandinho heads just wide from a corner in the final action!
FULL TIME: BRAZIL 0-0 VENEZUELA
So there we have it - the referee brings the second period to a close with the two teams sharing the points in a goalless draw. However, that does not even begin to tell the whole story with Brazil having two goals chalked off in the second period. What a result for Venezuela, who have moved onto two points in Group A while Brazil have four from their two matches. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live Copa America coverage once again. Until next time!