Foxborough (Massachusetts), June 13 (IANS) Raul Ruidiaz’s 75th-minute controversial goal helped Peru to a 1-0 win and eliminated Brazil from the Copa America Centenario football tournament.
It was the final Group B finale for both teams. The goal, fiercely protested by the Brazilian players for being handball, was allowed after a lengthy delay for officials to confer.
But crucially their judgement was proved wrong as television replays clearly showed Ruidiaz diverting the ball into the net with his right hand.
Brazil, who had reached the tournament quarter-finals in every Copa America since 1993, needed only a draw to advance.
Instead, Peru won Group B with seven points from their three matches and Ecuador ended up in second place after their 4-0 win against Haiti earlier on Sunday.
The intensity of the match was high as Brazil consistently attacked.
Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese began his Man of the Match performance by stopping a Filipe Luis shot in the 12th minute. Then in the 26th minute, Gallese got his fingers to a ball heading for the left corner to keep Gabriel’s shot out of the net.
A 36th minute cross to Willian resulted in his shot going over the goal; meanwhile Peru had only one quality run into the Brazil box in the first half, on which they wanted a penalty, but the cries fell on deaf ears.
Christian Cueva’s free kick cleared Brazil’s defensive wall but was saved by goalkeeper Alisson in the 48th minute. Philippe Countinho’s 62nd minute shot on goal was blocked by a Peru defender.
The game’s decisive moment came in the 75th minute, when Andy Polo’s cross was turned into the net by Ruidiaz. Brazil’s players protested, but the disputed goal stood.
Brazil tried desperately for the equaliser, but their best hope, a tap by Elias in the 93rd minute, was saved by Gallese.
Peru will face Colombia in the quarter-finals on Friday in East Rutherford, New Jersey.