The five-time world champions looked set to progress comfortably to the quarter-finals of the tournament, needing just a point against Peru – No48 in the world rankings – to advance after Ecuador had beaten Haiti 4-0 in Sunday’s earlier kick off.
Instead, Brazil - who were knocked out of Copa América in the quarter-finals last year, and were humiliated by Germany in the semi-final of the 2014 World Cup – find themselves facing up to another disappointment in a major tournament. Prior to Sunday, Peru had not beaten Brazil in 31 years.
However, the Brazil coach, Dunga, will have reason to be aggrieved. Replays clearly showed Peru’s Raúl Ruidíaz had handled the ball into the net for the game’s only goal in the 75th minute, after a cross from Andy Polo. The officials debated for more than two minutes, and were clearly anxious as players from both teams surrounded them, before the goal was given.
While Brazil are currently the tournament’s joint-top scorers alongside Argentina, all seven of their goals came in one game, against lowly Haiti. In their other two matches they failed to break down Peru and Ecuador, and the presence of Neymar has been badly missed in an attack that bears only a fleeting resemblance to the great Brazil teams of the past.
Brazil had the better of the chances but found Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in inspired form, saving twice from Gabriel Barbosa in the first-half. Peru failed to muster a single shot on target in the first period.
Serious questions will now be raised over Dunga’s future as coach of Brazil, who last failed to make the Copa América quarter-finals in 1993 and have won the tournament eight times.
The result means the host team, USA, face Ecuador in the next round while Peru take on Colombia.
This article was written by Tom Lutz, for theguardian.com on Monday 13th June 2016 04.08 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010