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Brazil defeat Peru to win first Copa América in 12 years

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Ten-man Brazil held on to win the Copa America on home soil despite Gabriel Jesus’s dismissal with a 3-1 victory over Peru on Sunday, AFP reported.

Jesus scored the decisive goal after a penalty from Peru captain Paolo Guerrero canceled out Everton’s opener for hosts Brazil at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium.

A last minute penalty from substitute Richarlison sealed a win for Brazil which handed the South American giants their ninth Copa triumph and first since 2007.

Jesus’s evening went sour 20 minutes from time as he was sent off for a second booking.

The Manchester City striker was in tears as he left the field, making obscene hand gestures, angrily kicking a water bottle and almost knocking over the trophy plinth.

Brazil’s players rallied after the dismissal however to claim a battling victory.

Earlier, after a minute’s silence was held for bossa nova legend Joao Gilberto — who died on Saturday — underdogs Peru made a confident start and didn’t appear overawed by either their opponents or the occasion.

But it quickly became apparent that they were up against more accomplished players.

Peru coach Ricardo Gareca had said on Saturday they needed to prevent Brazil from dominating possession, but that was easier said than done.

Individual brilliance

Brazil started to stroke the ball around commandingly, and as they did that, they looked dangerous.

Their opening goal came from a piece of individual brilliance by Jesus, whose drag back fooled two defenders, creating space for him to cross for the unmarked Everton to drill home at the back post on the quarter hour.

Brazil were in control and playing like champions elect as Roberto Firmino found space on the left and crossed for Philippe Coutinho to stab wide.

Left-winger Everton was clever with his movement in dragging the athletic right-back Luis Advincula out of position and Brazil’s left-back Alex Sandro found acres of space to put in a deep cross that Firmino headed over.

Just as it looked as if Brazil would stroll to victory, Peru went on the attack and a Christian Cueva cross hit the arm of a sliding Thiago Silva, giving Peru a penalty that was confirmed after a VAR review.

Guerrero sent goalkeeper Alisson the wrong way from 12 yards and Peru were back in it just before half-time.

But they paid for their lack of guile and experience with almost the last kick of the half as Arthur was allowed to drive at the defence from midfield following a slip from Renato Tapia that left him space to attack.

Center-back Carlos Zambano also slipped, allowing Arthur to feed Jesus in the middle of the area and the Manchester City striker made no mistake, finding the bottom corner.

Changed dynamic

Brazil had a few speculative shots at the start of the second half but Silva, Dani Alves and Coutinho all failed to hit the target.

After some wing trickery from Everton, Alex Sandro crossed but Firmino headed wide.

Brazil were in complete control at this stage as Peru could hardly string two passes together.

But the dynamic changed 20 minutes from time as Jesus was given his marching orders for a second yellow card after a late challenge on Cueva.

The onus was now on Peru to attack and Miguel Trauco brought a near-post save out of Alisson while Edison Flores fizzed a volley from outside the area just wide.

But amidst a flurry of substitutions, fouls and injury stoppages, the steam went out of Peru’s efforts and they were unable to exert any sustained pressure on the hosts.

Any hopes they had were extinguished when Zambrano was adjudged to have barged over Everton in the penalty area and substitute Richarlison drilled home the spot-kick into the bottom corner.

News.Az

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USA beat Netherlands to win Womens World Cup

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The United States won the Women’s World Cup for a record fourth time as they eventually overpowered the Netherlands in Lyon, BBC Sport reported.

Megan Rapinoe’s penalty and Rose Lavelle’s fine run and finish gave the defending champions victory in the second half, after resilient first-half defending from the Dutch.

Veteran winger Rapinoe’s calmly-slotted opener came from a spot-kick awarded after a video assistant referee (VAR) review, at the end of a tournament in which the system has been a major talking point.

Barcelona defender Stefanie van der Gragt’s high boot caught USA striker Alex Morgan and French referee Stephanie Frappart pointed to the spot after assessing replays, and the holders did not look back after taking the lead.

The European champions, reaching the final in only their second World Cup, kept the favourites at bay in the first half as former Arsenal goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal produced four excellent saves.

But the USA, playing in their third consecutive final, continued their reign as the world’s finest side as they added to their titles of 1991, 1999 and 2015.

Rapinoe’s goal also meant she won the Golden Boot after finishing with six goals and three assists, while she also took the Golden Ball award for the tournament’s best player.

Victory for the USA saw their English-born boss Jill Ellis, from Hampshire, become the first coach to lift the trophy twice.

AzeriTiems.com

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Arsenal leaves out Mkhitaryan from Europa League final amid safety concerns

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Armenian national Henrikh Mkhitaryan has chosen together with Arsenal not to attend the final match of the Europa League to be held in Baku, CNN reports.

The English club says Mkhitaryan was omitted from the final squad as his safety in Baku is a matter of concern. Mkhitaryan is also the captain of the Armenian football team.

Arsenal said it was “disappointed” by the absence of its main attacking midfielder in Baku, but added that the decision was made after discussions with him and his family. In a letter to UEFA, Arsenal expressed they are "deeply concerned" that the player is missing out on the final calling it “a big loss" for the team.

"Micki will continue to be part of our preparations until we depart for Baku at the weekend," the club stated.

On Twitter, Mkhitaryan said being left out of the final against Chelsea “hurt a lot."

UEFA said on May 10 that they did everything possible to ensure security of Mkhitaryan in Baku. “UEFA sought and received assurances regarding the player's safety in Azerbaijan from the highest authorities in the country," the statement reads.

"While the club acknowledges the efforts that UEFA and the Azeri government have gone to in this matter, we respect the personal decision not to travel with the player."

Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva has said that despite the tense relations with Armenia, Mkhitaryan can play in Baku.

"Sports and politics are separate," Abdullayeva told AP.

Azerbaijan and Armenia have no diplomatic ties due to the decades-long Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that left the region in “no war, no peace."

England's Arsenal and Chelsea clubs will compete in the Europa League final in Baku on May 29.

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Federer makes history with eighth Wimbledon, 19th major title

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Photo: Shutterstock

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