Brazil defeat Peru to win ninth Copa América title

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Hosts Brazil won the Copa América for the ninth time as they downed Peru 3-1 in the final at Rio de Janeiro’s famous Maracanã.

Gabriel Jesus set-up one goal, scored another and was then sent off as the five-time World Cup winners retained the trophy they last won in 2007.

Manchester City’s Jesus sublimely assisted the Brazilian opener as his fine turn and cross while in the presence of three Peruvian players was lashed home from close range by Everton.

Peru, who were thrashed 5-0 by Brazil in the last round of group fixtures, found a way back on the stroke of half-time when Paolo Guerrero calmly slotted in from the penalty spot.

Thiago Silva was penalised for handball while on the ground and Guerrero, Peru’s captain who was involved in a high-profile drugs case before being allowed to play at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, made no mistake.

His goal was the first Brazil had conceded at the tournament and the hosts ended the event without letting in from open play.

Peru were unable to go in at the break level as Silva side-footed home from near the penalty spot in the third minute of stoppage time.

In the second half, Jesus was sent off after 70 minutes when his foul on Carlos Zambrano earned him a second yellow card.

It did not matter as Everton was shoulder-barged in the box in the last minute of the match, leading to a Brazilian penalty which was dispatched into the corner by substitute Richarlison.

Both spot kicks in the final were delayed for checking by the video assistant referee.

“I have no words to describe this happiness,” said Brazil coach Tite, who has become the first manager to win the Copa América and the continent’s two major club competitions, the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana.

“We get so caught up in work that we’re just going to be happy tomorrow when we get home and can watch the best moments.”

Jesus apologised for his red card, saying: “I could have avoided it and I also need to grow up a lot.”

This was Peru’s first final since they won the tournament in 1975, with their appearance a surprise after they shocked back-to-back holders Chile in the last four.

“It was fair that Brazil won,” said Peru coach Ricardo Gareca.“They took advantage of their opportunities.”

Brazil have won the tournament on all five occasions that they have hosted, in 1919, 1922, 1949, 1989 and 2019.

Another Copa América will be held next year in Argentina and Colombia, with the tournament switching to even-numbered years.