Brazil 1-0 Peru: 5 takeaways as the Selecao advances to the Copa America final | Copa America 2021


A first-half strike by Lucas Paqueta was enough for Brazil to earn a narrow 1-0 victory over Peru in the first semi-final of the 2021 Copa America.

While the hosts saw off 1-0 Chile in the last round to get to this stage, Peru needed penalties to defeat Paraguay after a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Brazil expectedly started the game on the front foot and forced Peru custodian Pedro Gallese into three quickfire saves from Casemiro, Neymar and Richarlison.

Given how Brazil started the game, it was only a matter of time before they went ahead. And that proved to be the case when Lucas Paqueta broke the deadlock in the 35th minute.

The Lyon man combined brilliantly with Neymar, who in turn showed great footing to evade the challenge of four Peruvian defenders before setting up Paqueta.

Paqueta slotted past Gallese with a left-footed strike to give Brazil the lead eight minutes before half-time.

The second half was a more even affair, with an ambitious Peru even drawing good saves from Ederson in the Brazil goal.

Ultimately, Brazil held on to progress to the final, where they will face either Argentina or Colombia on Saturday.

Here are five talking points from the fixture.

#5 Brazil labor their way to yet another victory

Brazil are efficient and compact under Tite

Brazil are currently on a 12-game unbeaten run. A 1-1 draw with Ecuador in the group stage was the only match they failed to win in that sequence.

However, most of the victories have been far from convincing as Brazil have instead been pragmatic en-route to the Copa final.

This was the third consecutive match in which they scored a solitary goal. They also needed a 10th-minute injury-time winner to complete a comeback victory over Colombia.

The quarter-final victory over Chile was a perfect example of Brazil’s recent gameplan, with just 33 percent possession recorded in the second half.

It was more of the same against Peru and after going ahead in the first half, Tite’s men took their foot off the pedal and became more preoccupied with protecting their lead.

Brazilian football is famed for being esthetically pleasing as well as successful and Tite is undeniably fulfilling the latter part of the deal. But his team’s style of play is more in line with the low-points of Dunga’s reign than it is of the golden periods of years gone by.

#4 Lucas Paqueta’s blossoming relationship with Neymar continues

Lucas Paqueta has scored match-winners in consecutive games

Lucas Paqueta has reinvented himself at Olympique Lyon after a disastrous 20-month spell at AC Milan.

He continued his good run of form on the international scene in the quarter-final win over Chile. Paqueta scored the match-winning goal against Chile just minutes after coming on.

This saw the 23-year-old rewarded with a start against Peru, and he repaid Tite’s faith by scoring the match-winner in consecutive games.

Incredibly, it was Neymar who assisted each of his two goals in the Copa America. Previously, he also set up Paqueta’s goal against Paraguay in a FIFA World Cup qualifier last month.

This blossoming relationship between the two men could be key for Brazil in their quest for Copa glory. Their celebrations after each of the goals also underlined an understanding between Neymar and Paqueta off the field.

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