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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 July 2024

Brazil held to scoreless draw by Costa Rica in Copa America opener in Los Angeles

Brazil, who came into the Copa America on the back of a run of poor results in recent months, dominated possession but lacked precision in front of goal with just three of their 19 shots on target

Reuters Los Angeles Published 25.06.24, 11:01 AM
Brazil forward Rodrygo (10) dribbles the ball during first half of a match against Costa Rica at SoFi Stadium

Brazil forward Rodrygo (10) dribbles the ball during first half of a match against Costa Rica at SoFi Stadium Reuters

Brazil missed a string of chances and were left to rue a lack of quality in the final third after they were held 0-0 by Costa Rica in their Copa America Group D opener in Los Angeles on Monday.

Brazil, who came into the Copa America on the back of a run of poor results in recent months, dominated possession but lacked precision in front of goal with just three of their 19 shots on target.

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They were frustrated by a resolute five-man Costa Rican defence, who looked to contain their opponents and deprive them of space. The strategy paid dividends even if Gustavo Alfaro's side rode their luck at times.

Raphinha had an excellent early opportunity to score after latching onto a long ball over the top from Rodrygo, but Costa Rica keeper Patrick Sequeira came quickly off his line to snuff out the danger.

Brazil thought they had got the breakthrough in the 30th minute when a free kick was flicked on by Rodrygo into the path of Marquinhos, who poked it in at the far post but the goal was disallowed for offside after a lengthy VAR delay.

The one-way traffic continued after the break and Lucas Paqueta rattled the woodwork with a long-range effort in the 63rd minute before a venomous Guilherme Arana strike was kept out by a fine save from Sequeira.

Coach Dorival Junior brought on youngsters Endrick and Savio in the 70th minute as Brazil desperately sought a winner but Paqueta twice shot wide in the final 10 minutes as the nine-times champions failed to break the deadlock.

Brazil's all-time leading scorer Neymar, who has been sidelined by an anterior cruciate ligament injury, cut a dejected figure as he looked on from the stands.

Colombia lead Group D following their 2-1 win over Paraguay earlier on Monday.

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