Some things never change and the result of a game between Brazil and Peru appears to be one of such constants. The Selecao defeated Peru 3-1 in the final of the 2019 Copa America. On Monday, they edged past their opponents again, this time in the semi-final of the tournament.
Los Incas put up a better performance than they did two years ago, but their lack of cutting edge ultimately proved to be their undoing. Despite creating several chances, especially in the second half, Peru couldn’t convert as Lucas Paqueta’s first-half strike settled the game in Brazil’s favour.
Neymar and Paqueta are forming a special partnership
Tite’s side won the 2019 Copa America without Neymar. However, they’ve been largely dependent on the Paris Saint-Germain star this year. The 29-year-old has been the pivot of the team and is usually involved in every attacking move.
Fortunately, Paqueta has stepped up and is sharing in Neymar’s burden. The Lyon midfielder has been a revelation at the tournament and has formed a special partnership with Neymar. The two seem to have developed a good understanding and play to each other’s strengths.
Neymar and Paqueta combined for the winner against Chile in the quarter-final and the duo was at it once more against Peru in the semi-final. At a point, it looked like they were enjoying themselves so much on the pitch that the two were just flicking the ball and running circles around their markers with a series of deft one-twos.
Brazil boast a formidable team but the telepathy between Neymar and Paqueta could be the pivot that spurs the Selecao on to glory.
Brazil-Argentina final on the cards
Brazil have booked their place in the final and they could face rivals Argentina for the right to be crowned champions.
Lionel Messi and Co. also have a crunch test against Colombia on Tuesday, with the winner progressing to the final. However, La Albiceleste are favourites based on their current form.
“I want Argentina in the final,” a confident Neymar said after Brazil’s important win over Peru in the semi-final, as quoted by the Guardian. “I am cheering for them because I have many friends there. In the final, Brazil will win.”
For many neutrals, a Brazil vs Argentina final will be ideal and they may yet get served such a blockbuster finale if the latter manages to overcome Colombia.
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