Copa America 2016: Peru eliminate Brazil with a controversial 1-0 victory
Raul Ruidiaz 'hand of god' goal eliminated Brazil from the group stage of the Copa America Centenario
Brazil crashed out of the group stages of the Copa America Centenario thanks to a highly controversial 1-0 defeat to Peru. The victory took Peru to the top of the standings and they will now face Colombia in the quarterfinals while Ecuador will face hosts USA.
With Ecuador thrashing Haiti 4-0 in the earlier group B match, both Brazil and Peru knew exactly what was required to go through to the next round. While the Selecao would qualify with just a draw, Peru desperately needed a victory.
However, there was no sign of Brazil playing for the draw as they started off on the front foot with the attacking trio of Coutinho, Willian and Gabriel causing a lot of problems to the Peru backline. Dunga made a couple of changes from the last match, opting to drop Marquinhos and Casemiro for the more experienced Miranda and more creative Lucas Lima.
The move seemed to pay off as Brazil looked more creative right from the beginning with Williar and Gabriel coming close to opening the scoring. They were also a couple of penalty appeals, and it only looked like a matter of time before Brazil took the lead. However, Peru were well organised and somehow managed to keep the Brazil attack at bay.
Although Peru did not offer much going forward, the first half ended 0-0 with Peru still in with a chance to qualify.
The second half started off with Peru looking much more threatening. The Peru team played with some real purpose and caused the Selecao defence some problems. They soon had their first shot on target when Cueva’s well-struck free-kick really tested Brazil goalkeeper Allison who saved well.
Things seemed to be settling into the usual pattern with Brazil dominating but the game’s real moment of controversy came in the 75th minute when Peru scored the opening goal in really controversial circumstances. Andy Polo sent in an inviting cross from the right hand side which was blatantly hand-balled into the net by Raul Ruidiaz.
Brazil opposed the goal vehemently but after a lengthy discussion, the goal was allowed to stand by the referees. The Brazil bench could just not believe that the referee had taken so long to get their decision wrong. Peru did not care however,and they had their own hand of god moment.
Brazil pressed hard for an equaliser but the Peru defence held on stubbornly to deny the Selecao. It was a shocking result no matter how the goal was scored and the future of Dunga now remains uncertain with the Olympics coming up in August.