Brazil have stormed through to the Copa America Final yet again after a near flawless tournament, where they went undefeated through six games — scoring 12 goals and conceding just two in the process.
Eder Militao has not featured much in the last few games as Brazil head coach Tite has gone with Thiago Silva and Marquinhos at the back. Meanwhile Vinicius, until now, had played just 32 minutes in this tournament. Both players started this game on the bench, but did enter the game through a triple sub in the 84th minute when they, along with Fabinho, replaced Fred, Richarlison, and Renan Lodi.
Casemiro though, featured from the start, and played the full 90 minutes on the right side of a double pivot alongside Manchester United midfielder Fred. He was involved in several nice attacking sequences and one-touch passing plays in the first half as he combined well with Lucas Paqueta, Neymar, and Richarlison. Those four in particular were huge instigators in attack as Brazil carved Peru over and over again in the first half. Peru, defending in a 5-4-1, kept everyone behind the ball apart from striker Gianluca Lapadula. Thus, they struggled getting any attacks in transition, and even though they tried to stay compact defensively, struggled to limit space between the lines for Brazil’s runners to find space in. They also allowed both Casemiro and Fred to pick out all the passes they wanted without being pressured.
Casemiro had two long distance stingers which forced saves from Peruvian goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
Brazil opened the scoring though Paqueta in the 35th minute after some sorcery from Neymar:
Brazil looked set to steamroll a helpless Peru side. But at half-time, their head coach Ricardo Gareca made two subs to advance his team’s shape. Most notably, the entrance of attacking midfielder Raziel Garcia for one of his defenders provided some help for Lapadula in attack and immediately brought Peru back into the game. They got better opportunities in transition, were able to keep the ball better, and gave Casemiro — beat on three separate occassions in midfield — something to think about. Ederson was forced into several important saves.
On Militao and Vinicius: The Real Madrid defender played at left-back during his time on the field, and did well to work with Thiago Silva to keep Peru’s right flank at bay. Vinicius, meanwhile, featured mostly on the left wing, and immediately looked active with his dribbling and had several nice touches in his limited time on the field.
Brazil now await the winner of Argentina vs Columbia.