Copa America Opens with Neither Fans Nor Fanfare

In Brasília, the team easily defeats the Venezuelans, short 11 athletes due to Covid

João Gabriel Ranier Bragan
São Paulo

The Copa America began this Sunday night (13), in Brasília, without the trappings of the opening of a major sporting event. Its biggest political supporter, President Jair Bolsonaro (no party), did not attend the match between Brazil and Venezuela at the Mané Garrincha stadium, which had empty stands.

Soccer Football - Copa America 2021 - Group A - Brazil v Venezuela - Estadio Mane Garrincha, Brasilia, Brazil - June 13, 2021 Brazil's Neymar celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates REUTERS/Henry Romero - REUTERS

On the field, coach Tite's selection didn't need a great performance and they easily defeated, by 3-0, an opponent devoid of 11 athletes who had contracted Covid-19. The same disease that kills, on average, about 2,000 people a day in the host country of the tournament.

Defender Marquinhos scored the first goal, still in the first half of a not very busy match. Neymar, in the second stage, scored his 67th goal for the national team with a penalty, becoming the second highest scorer in the history of the green and yellow jersey, tied with Ronaldo —in the CBF count— and only behind Pelé. Gabriel Barbosa, Gabigol, gave the final score to the game.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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