BRAZIL’S Copa America campaign kicked off on the right foot with a decisive 3-0 victory over Venezuela at the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia.
The Selecao dominated throughout the entire match against a depleted Vinotinto side, who were missing a raft of key players that tested positive for coronavirus before the tournament began.
Tite’s men came close to a second soon after when Richarlison tapped the ball behind the net, following a cross from the left flank, but the Everton star was caught offside.
Venezuela were unable to react to Brazil’s opener and sealed their fate on 64 minutes when Yohan Cumana brought Danilo down inside the box.
The referee pointed at the penalty spot and Neymar beat Graterol with one of his signature spot-kicks.
Tite’s side scored a third in the 89th minute when Venezuela’s defence let a ball through for Neymar down the left flank.
The PSG superstar then dribbled past Graterol, who came off his area too soon, and set Gabriel Barbosa up in front of open goal.
Venezuela manager Jose Peseiro entered this match with a series of problems as his team was heavily hit by a COVID-19 outbreak a day before the Copa America opener against Brazil.
Eight players and four coaches tested positive for coronavirus shortly after arriving in Brasilia.
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South American football confederation CONMEBOL later added that a 13th member of the Venezuelan team followed.
Thus, manager Peseiro brought in 15 new players to join the squad for the tournament.
All those who tested positive are isolating in their hotels, along with those they came in contact with, and will only be able to leave Brazil after testing negative.
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