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Brazil hammer hapless Haiti 7-1 in Copa America massacre

Jun 8, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho (22) celebrates after he scored a goal against the Haiti during the first half of the group play stage of the 2016 Copa America Centenario at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 8, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho (22) celebrates after he scored a goal against the Haiti during the first half of the group play stage of the 2016 Copa America Centenario at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Philippe Coutinho grabbed a hat-trick as Brazil ramped up their Copa America campaign with a resounding 7-1 win over a hapless Haiti on Wednesday.

Renato Augusto scored a brace and substitutes Lucas Lima and Gabriel also goaled for Brazi, while James Marcelin put in Haiti's consolation goal.

The scoreline -- identical to Brazil's nightmare 7-1 defeat by Germany in the World Cup semi-final two years ago -- takes Brazil to the top of Group B with four points, ahead of the evening's second game between Peru and Ecuador.

Coutinho got Brazil off to a positive start in the Camping World stadium with a goal after 14 minutes when he skipped past a defender and hammered home from 20 metres out.

He doubled Brazil's lead 15 minutes later thanks to Jonas, who was on hand to poke a loose ball across goal and leave the Liverpool player with the simplest of tap-ins.

Renato Augusto made it three in 35 minutes when he rose unmarked to head home a cross from the right.

Although the eight-times Copa America champions appeared to take their foot off the pedal in the second half, they still created chances at will against 74th-ranked Haiti.

Gabriel scored the fourth just 13 minutes after replacing Jonas at half-time and his Santos team mate Lucas Lima nodded home a Dani Alves cross eight minutes later.

Haitian striker Marcelin delighted the Caribbean contingent in the Orlando crowd by hammering in a rebound but Renato Augusto restored Brazil's five-goal advantage when he seized on a loose pass and side-footed home from 20 metres.

Coutinho completed his hat trick in the final minute of injury time with a trademark 25-metre strike.

Brazil, who were held 0-0 by Ecuador in their opener, next face Peru on Sunday. Haiti, who also lost their opener to Peru 1-0, will take on Ecuador.

(Writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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