SAO PAULO, June 23: Brazil overwhelmed Peru with three goals in a superb first half to set up a crushing 5-0 victory on Saturday and cruise into the Copa America quarter-finals.
Looking like their imperious old selves, the host nation went ahead after 12 minutes when Casemiro was on hand to nod home after a goalmouth scramble and Roberto Firmino made it two seven minutes later after keeper Pedro Gallese made a hash of his kick.
Winger Everton’s low shot sneaked inside Gallese’s near post to make it 3-0 on 32 minutes and Dani Alves made it 4-0 when he finished off a nice team goal eight minutes into the second period.
Substitute Willian made it five with a strike from outside the box in the 90th minute.
The result, combined with Venezuela’s 3-1 win over Bolivia, means the hosts top Group A and will play one of the two third-placed teams at the Gremio arena on Thursday.
Second-placed Venezuela will face the second team in Group B on Friday at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, while Peru must wait to see if their four points are enough to earn them a place as one of the two best third-placed sides.
BELO HORIZONTE: An impressive double from striker Darwin Machis helped Venezuela book their place in the Copa America quarter-finals with a comfortable 3-1 win over Bolivia on Saturday, qualifying as runners-up in Group A behind Brazil.
Machis got Venezuela off to a perfect start after goalless draws against Peru and Brazil by powering in a header in the second minute and he scored a spectacular goal early in the second half by lashing the ball into the net from just inside the area.
Bolivia pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute through Leonel Justiniano but their hopes of grabbing an equaliser proved short-lived as Josef Martinez hit a third for Venezuela three minutes later.
Venezuela finished second in Group A on five points, Brazil came first with seven, with Peru third on four and Bolivia last without a point. (Reuters)