Peru eliminate Brazil with hotly disputed goal
FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts (AP):
Peru's recent history against Brazil is marked by lots of losses and a few missed opportunities.
That changed in a big way on Sunday night with the help from a fortunate non-call.
Peru stunned Brazil 1-0, eliminating the soccer power from Copa America on a late goal by Raul Ruidiaz that should have been ruled a hand ball. It was Peru's first victory over the perennial power since 1985 and gave Peru the Group B title and a quarter-final match against Colombia on Friday.
Dominated for most of the game, Peru's Andy Polo managed a takeaway and crossed to Ruidiaz in the box. He deflected the ball into the net and Brazil keeper Alisson immediately complained the ball also made contact with Ruidiaz's hand. After a lengthy discussion by referees, the goal was allowed in the 75th minute.
"Perhaps Brazil at one point had the upper hand," Peru coach Ricardo Gareca said. "You have to be able to defend well. Peru did a good job of defending, and when the time was right for us to attack, we attacked."
Ruidiaz's goal came just about 10 minutes after he subbed in for Edison Flores.
DECLINED AN OPINION
Asked if he thought the goal should have been allowed, Gareca declined to offer an opinion, saying he hadn't seen the replays.
"This is part of the margin of error that exist in every game," he said.
Peru had 10 losses and six draws against Brazil since 1985. Brazil have been eliminated after reaching at least the quarter-finals of every Copa America since 1993.
"It was a very disputed game. At the end of the game, things happened that aren't dependent on the coaches or players," Brazil coach Dunga said. "They took four minutes to talk about the play. There's no way for the player or coach to influence that."
While the group-stage loss could also put Dunga's job in jeopardy, he said he wasn't thinking about his job security.
"I only fear death," Dunga said.
He was definitive in saying the goal was a missed call on the referee's part.
"The fans saw how Brazil were eliminated. The goal was scored with his hand," he said.
Ecuador locked up second place in Group B with their 4-0 win over Haiti in Sunday's early game and will play Group A winner United States on Thursday in Seattle.