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Host Brazil beat Bolivia 3-0 in Copa America opener

15 Jun 2019, 10:41 ( 1 Month ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Brazil's Philippe Coutinho (1st R) kicks the penalty during the Copa America 2019 Group A soccer match between Brazil and Bolivia at Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 14, 2019. Photo Xinhua.

Star midfielder Philippe Coutinho scored twice to help hosts Brazil beat Bolivia 3-0 in the opener of the Copa America on Friday.

   Playing without superstar Neymar, who's been sidelined by an ankle injury, Brazil presented a lackluster first half, but Coutinho brace ignited the fans at the Morumbi Stadium of Sao Paulo.

   Coutinho first converted a penalty kick awarded by video review in the 50th minute and then headed in a cross by Roberto Firmino in the 53rd minute. Substitute Everton netted a sensational third five minutes from time to clinch victory for the hosts.

   As the eight-time Copa America champions, Brazil have won the tournament all four previous times it hosted the event, the last time in 1989. Brazil will play against Venezuela next Tuesday.

   The Copa America will end on July 7. In addition to South America's 10 teams, Asian champions Qatar and Japan are taking part in as guests.