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Brazil’s Casemiro rules out Copa America final goal-fest

Brazil defensive midfielder Casemiro expects Sunday’s Copa America final against Peru to be a much tighter affair than their earlier group stage encounter, a 5-0 thrashing © AFP / DOUGLAS MAGNO

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Jul 5Brazil midfielder Casemiro warned fans on Friday that there would be no repeat of the 5-0 group-stage thrashing of Peru when the two sides meet in Sunday’s Copa America final.

Casemiro opened the scoring in their Group A encounter when hosts Brazil ran away with the match as Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese had a day to forget, entirely at fault for Brazil’s second goal scored by Roberto Firmino and guilty of hesitancy for the opener and poor positioning for the third goal by Everton.

A demoralized Peru then conceded two more in the second half although it could have been worse as Gallese saved Gabriel Jesus’s injury-time penalty.

“It’s a final, we don’t expect a goal-fest,” said Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro.

“Hopefully it will be, but we know it won’t, it will be tough, they’re preparing for the big final.

“They want to win the competition however they can — on penalties, in extra-time — and we also want to win, playing well, scoring goals and becoming champions.”

It won’t just be a different scenario at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium but also a reinvigorated Peru that Brail are up against, according to center-back Marquinhos.

“We played Peru in one situation before and now in a completely different situation,” said the Paris Saint-Germain player.

“We must understand that there’s a lot of work to do. The final is a unique match.”

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Peru have come full circle since their Brazil debacle, knocking out Uruguay on penalties after VAR saved them on three occasions when their goal had been breached.

But in the semi-final against champions Chile, Peru dominated in a commanding 3-0 victory, and looked a completely different side to the one that self-destructed against Brazil.

In fact, until Casemiro gave Brazil a 12th-minute lead, Marquinhos felt Peru had caused them problems.

“It was a difficult start to the match, they pressed us well,” he said.

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