THE DAY REPLAYED. In a hugely dramatic Sunday at the Copa America Centenario, Brazil were knocked out of the group phase for the first time since 1987 after going down 1-0 to Peru, who topped Group B. Joining the Peruvians in the quarter-finals are Ecuador, who thrashed Haiti 4-0 in the day’s first game. FIFA.com looks back at the day’s main events.
The day’s results Ecuador 4-0 Haiti Brazil 0-1 Peru
The analysis Ecuador kicked the day off with a big win over Haiti to ease through to the knockout phase. Making a fast start, La Tri took just 20 minutes to establish the two-goal advantage they needed to advance in a tournament in which they hope to prove that the second place they currently occupy in the South American qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is no fluke.
Coached by the Argentinian Gustavo Quinteros, Ecuador outflanked their opponents time and again, while also combining cleverly down the centre and displaying plenty of attitude. Standing out for them were West Ham United front man Enner Valencia, who scored one goal and set up two, midfielder Christian Noboa and Swansea City wide man Jefferson Montero.
Ecuador’s 4-0 victory left Brazil and Peru to scrap it out for the one remaining qualification slot at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, where A Seleção needed just a point to advance as group winners and Peru all three. Looking more fluent on the ball and spending most of the opening 45 minutes in the Peruvian half, Dunga’s side seemed to be on course for the result they needed, even if they were unable to convert their domination into goals, which was partly down to the smart keeping of Pedro Gallese.
With Peru heading out unless they could conjure up a goal, their Argentinian coach Ricardo Gareca chose to bring on Yoshimar Yotun for the second half, a change that paid dividends as his side wrested control of the midfield and the balance of the game shifted. The goal the Peruvians were looking for eventually came when Andy Polo surged clear down the right and crossed for Raul Ruidiaz to convert, giving Los Incas their first win over Brazil in an official match since the 1975 Copa America.
Peru will now face Colombia in the last eight on Friday, while Ecuador will take on hosts USA on Thursday.
Highlight of the day The faces of the Brazil players and coaching staff could not conceal the shattering disappointment they felt at being knocked out of the first round for the first time in almost three decades. Hampered by the absence of Neymar following Dunga’s decision to hold him back for the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016, and shorn of the services of a handful of other big names through injury, among them Kaka, Brazil impressed only in the 7-1 defeat of Haiti and failed to score against their two CONMEBOL rivals.
The stat 19 - the number of years since Ecuador last progressed to the quarter-finals of the Copa America. That previous run to the knockout stage came at Bolivia 1997, when La Tri topped a group that also featured Argentina, Paraguay and Chile, before losing to Mexico on penalties in the last eight. The Ecuadorians failed to amass more than three points in each of their subsequent failed group campaigns, a sequence they have finally ended.
What they said “No one likes losing, least of all a Brazilian. These are difficult moments for us. There’s only one thing I’m scared of, and that’s death. I’m not scared of anything else. It’s a job. It took Germany 14 years to get back to where they were and we’ve had barely two years. Brazil wants a rapid turnaround, but the fans need to be patient.” Brazil coach Dunga
Next matchday Monday 13 June, Group C