Five-time World Cup winners Brazil crashed out of the Copa America Centenario on Sunday after a refereeing blunder cost them the match against Peru. Needing a draw to qualify for the quarter-finals, Brazil looked on course before Raul Ruidiaz punched the ball into the net 15 minutes from time.
Brazil, who started the tournament with a goalless draw against Ecuador, had beaten Haiti 7-1 in the second game to come back into the reckoning for a quarter-final place. With just a point needed in the last game against Peru to make it through to the last 8, Dunga’s side would have hoped for an easy outing at Foxborough on Sunday night. However, Peru, who are ranked No.48 in the world, delivered a knockout punch, literally, to end Brazil’s run in the tournament.
Raul Ruidiaz was the villain of the day for Brazil after he punched a cross from the right with his right hand to put Peru ahead in the 75th minute. Replays clearly showed the striker handling the ball into the net, and Brazil players ran towards the referee pointing towards the use of hand. But, after more than two minutes of consultation between the officials, they decided to award the goal to Peru. Although they created chances, Brazil failed to find an equalizer in the remaining time and crashed out of the tournament after the 0-1 defeat.
The exit in the group stage is sure to raise some serious questions about the position of Brazil coach Dunga. On the other hand, Peru and Ecuador progressed to the quarter-final from the Group and will face Columbia and the United States respectively in the last 8.
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