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2019 Copa América Preview – (Final)

The 46th edition of Copa América comes to an end with the concluding match being the final on Sunday 07 July, 2019 at Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho in Rio de Janeiro. Will Brazil end 12-year wait for Copa glory or is it time for Peru to claim their third title 44 years after the last one?

Chilean referee Roberto Tobar is the man in the middle to officiate the final. Tobar has officiated two matches in the tournament already including Brazil’s quarter final match against Paraguay.

BRAZIL v PERU – SUN. 07 JULY 2019, 21.00HRS
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BRAZIL

Brazil are in the Copa América final for the first time since 2007; their tradition of hosting to win this competition is still alive and in their hands. The host will start this match as favorites as they hunt for a ninth title in front of their fans. The Seleção have been rock solid at the back with goalkeeper Alisson Becker yet to concede in the tournament so far in spite of not impressing the locals with the non-existence of Joga Bonito. In the absence of star player – Neymar, Tite’s team has played to the collective strength of the team. Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Dani Alves, Gabriel Jesus have at one point or the other stood out but there has been to exceptional superstar. However, Everton Soares has been a revelation in the tournament and he would be expected to provide width from the wide areas. In spite of not getting the flair and offensive creativity yearned for, the two nil victory over arch-rivals Argentina in the semis would have delighted the home fans whose expectation would be nothing but victory in the final.

PERU

Against all odds, Peru are in the final of the Copa América for the first time since their last appearance in 1975. La Blanquirroja made it out of Group A as one of two best third-placed countries but haven’t looked back. Ricardo Gareca’s team has taken out the last two champions Uruguay (2011 winners) and Chile (2015 and 2016 winners) to book their place in this edition final against a team that humiliated them earlier in the tournament. As the tournament got tougher, Peru have shown their exceptional strong resilience and technical qualities. The semi-final victory over Chile epitomizes all the positives about them and they look to be hitting the peak just at the right time for a continental title. La Blanquirroja do not have household names to call upon except the veteran striker Paolo Guerrero – their talismanic skipper with two goals in the competition is still in the race for the golden boot award.

VERDICT – Who will win the 2019 Copa América final?

Peru and Brazil have played 27 times since the 1963 Copa América; the Seleção have 18 wins to La Blanquirroja three with six draws in between. The latest victory for Brazil came 15 days ago in the group stage when they smashed Peru five nil at the Corinthians Arena. Peru have improved since that defeat and are yet to concede a goal but psychologically, Brazil has the edge while Peru would be gunning for a revenge. The hosts have not won the trophy since 2007 – with their biggest football successes since then being victory in the 2013 Confederations Cup and Gold medal at the 2016 Olympics – both successes were on home soil. In addition, Brazil have won the Copa America every time they have hosted it. The odds are stacked against Peru.

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