Tuesday 22 October 2019

Coutinho double gets Brazil off to strong Copa America start in rout of Bolivia

Soccer Football - Copa America Brazil 2019 - Group A - Brazil v Bolivia - Morumbi Stadium, Sao Paulo, Brazil - June 14, 2019 Brazil's Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring their first goal from the penalty spot REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
Soccer Football - Copa America Brazil 2019 - Group A - Brazil v Bolivia - Morumbi Stadium, Sao Paulo, Brazil - June 14, 2019 Brazil's Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring their first goal from the penalty spot REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Philippe Coutinho scored a quickfire double as hosts Brazil kicked off their Copa America campaign with a 3-0 victory over Bolivia.

The Selecao opened the tournament in Sao Paulo and were able to overcome the loss of injured star man Neymar to claim their 100th Copa victory.

Brazil had the first effort on goal and were dominating proceedings, but the back of the net proved elusive in the first half.

Roberto Firmino and Thiago Silva provided the best chances from corners but it needed a penalty to break the deadlock five minutes after the break.

Richarlison's strike from inside the area hit the arm of Jusino and, after a VAR review, Coutinho converted from the spot.

The ex-Liverpool man then doubled the lead with a header just three minutes later.

Bolivia were increasingly over-run and had no way back when substitute Everton Soares fired into the far corner in the 85th minute to wrap up the comfortable victory.

Brazil have won the Copa America on all of the four previous occasions they have been hosts - the last time in 1989.

Tite's team face Venezuela on Wednesday for the second of their group stage matches, while Bolivia will play Peru on Tuesday.

PA Media

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