A goalless draw between favourites Brazil and Costa Rica

Brazil was unable to score against Costa Rica in their Copa America opener, resulting in a 0-0 draw for the international powerhouse.

Despite dominating possession and having 18 shots compared to Costa Rica’s 2, Brazil was unable to score due to the impressive defensive performance of goalkeeper Patrick Sequeira. He made three saves and achieved his fourth consecutive clean sheet for the Selecao.

In the first half of the match, Brazil’s Marquinhos had a goal that was deemed invalid after a thorough review by VAR. Despite being known for their impressive offensive style for many years, the team was unable to score and also did not receive any favourable calls from the referee. The enthusiastic crowd of 67,158 was largely made up of Brazil’s yellow-clad fans, who dominated the atmosphere at SoFi Stadium.

Following its 2-1 triumph over Paraguay, Colombia now holds the top spot in Group D. Despite having won the Copa America nine times, Brazil’s current team, led by Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, had a disappointing beginning.

The result was a remarkable feat for Costa Rica, the understaffed CONCACAF squad with the most youthful line-up in the competition but known for exceeding expectations and resilient defending. The Ticos had been defeated in nine consecutive matches against Brazil.

Right from the beginning, Brazil maintained control over the game, possessing the ball for 75% of the first half.

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As it happened

Vinicius was brought down in the 22nd minute inside the box by a forceful challenge from Haxzel Quiros, but the referee did not blow the whistle.

During the 30th minute, Rodrygo stooped down to head the ball from Raphinha’s free-kick towards Marquinhos, who successfully scored at the far post. The goal was then subjected to a 3 and a half minute review by VAR, and Mexican referee Cesar Ramos eventually concurred with the assistant’s call to disallow the goal due to a very small offside margin.

In the 39th minute of the game, there was a kick from Lucas Paqueta that seemed to hit the hand of Juan Pablo Vargas in the penalty area. However, Ramos did not make any decision regarding the incident.

In the 63rd minute, Paqueta took a powerful shot that hit the post. Despite this, Costa Rica managed to avoid conceding a goal when Haxzel Quiros almost unintentionally scored an own goal with a header, but Sequeira was able to cover the ball.

In the 86th minute, Costa Rica managed to withstand a brief period of disorder, as Rodrygo was unable to take advantage of two scoring opportunities and did not receive a penalty against Jeyland Mitchell inside the penalty area.

In the opening minute of injury time, Bruno Guimaraes had a clear opportunity to score, but unfortunately missed the target by a small margin.

The Brazilian national team is currently going through a period of change, especially with the absence of Neymar, who has been out of action since injuring his knee in a Brazil match last October. Neymar addressed the team on Sunday and later watched the game at SoFi Stadium, receiving a roaring reception from the crowd when his concerned expression was shown on the scoreboard during the second half.

The flow of traffic in one direction persisted following the interval, and in the 63rd minute, Lucas Paqueta struck the crossbar with a powerful shot from a distance. Soon after, Costa Rica’s goalkeeper Patrick Sequeira made a brilliant save to deny Guilherme Arana’s fierce strike.

In the 70th minute, Coach Dorival Junior decided to introduce young players Savio and Endrick in an attempt to secure a victory for Brazil. However, despite their efforts, the nine-time champion was unable to score a goal as Paqueta missed two shots in the last 10 minutes, resulting in the match ending in a draw.

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