Vinicius Jr. Leads Brazil to 4-1 Win Over Paraguay in Copa America

Brazil vs Paraguay, Copa America 2024
Brazil vs Paraguay, Copa America 2024 (PC: @brfootball/X)

Brazil triumphed over Paraguay with a stylish 4-1 victory in their second group game of the ongoing Copa America tournament. Vinicius Jr. scored twice, while Savio and Lucas Paqueta also found the back of the net.

Historically, Paraguay have often posed challenges for the ‘Selecao’ in Copa America, particularly in recent encounters. Between 2011 and 2015, Paraguay eliminated the five-time World Champions twice in consecutive tournaments via penalties. Even in the 2019 Copa America quarterfinal, Brazil narrowly defeated Paraguay in a penalty shootout (4-3).

Aware of Paraguay’s reputation as a tough opponent, coach Dorival Jr. and his team faced significant pressure, as a loss could have jeopardised their chances of advancing to the knockout stage. Brazil entered the match following a disappointing goalless draw against Costa Rica, while Paraguay had suffered a defeat against Colombia. Thus, this clash was crucial for both teams to stay in contention.

Brazil made two key changes to their starting XI, bringing in Savio for Raphinha and Wendell for Arana. The match began with Brazil displaying high energy and creativity, especially through the trio of Savio, Vinicius, and Rodrygo. However, Paraguay had an early opportunity in the 15th minute, but Brazil’s goalkeeper, Alisson, made a diving save to deny Bobadila’s deflected shot.

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Savio in action vs Paraguay
Savio in action vs Paraguay (PC: @brfootball/X)

Brazil’s intensity paid off in the 30th minute when they were awarded a penalty after the ball struck Cubas’ hand. Unfortunately, Lucas Paqueta missed the target. Nevertheless, three minutes later, Vinicius Jr. broke the deadlock with a composed finish, following a one-touch assist from Paqueta, showcasing a well-executed team goal.

Savio, who had been a standout performer in the previous game, justified his selection by scoring his debut international goal in the 43rd minute. He capitalised on a rebound from Morinigo’s save, tapping the ball in from close range. Just before halftime, a defensive error by Paraguay allowed Vinicius to score his second goal.

The second-half started positively for Daniel Garnero and his team, as Omar Alderete scored a spectacular volley from outside the box, beating Alisson. In the 63rd minute, Brazil was awarded another penalty for a handball inside the box. This time, Paqueta successfully converted, sending Morinigo the wrong way.

Brazil’s promising youngster, Endrick, made a brief appearance in the last 10 minutes. The match saw several heated moments and numerous fouls, leading to multiple interruptions by the referee. Paraguay’s Cubas received a red card, leaving his team to finish the game with ten men. Despite this, no additional goals were scored, and Brazil secured their first win of the tournament with a dominant performance. This victory eliminated Paraguay and brought Brazil closer to the knockout stage.

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