tenthreeleader, well, I can't take all the credit... the players were fantastic
Brazil Crowned Champions After ET Thriller
Cebolinha Scored The Winner In A Dramatic Final To Give Brazil The Copa América
In what will go down as one of the greatest Copa América finals in history, Christian Schäfer's Brazil claimed a 2-1 victory over Argentina in extra-time to give the Seleção their first major trophy in sixteen years. Substitute Cebolinha scored the all-important goal in a game where both sides played at their very best, giving each and every spectator a game to remember.
vs Argentina (08/07/2023)
Christian Schäfer made five changes to the side that beat Chile 4-0 in the semi-finals, with only one change being forced. Central defender Lucas Iago was suspended for the final, and he was replaced by Carlinhos (DC). Fernandes took the place of Ronaldo (DC), while Wendell regained his spot in the side ahead of Jorge (WBL). Casemiro was handed a start ahead of Bruno Paulista (DM), while Philippe Coutinho started the final ahead of Oscar (AMC). The main topic of conversation was Wesley Santos continuing his run of games in the starting line-up, keeping Cebolinha on the bench.
Argentina had the first clear opportunity of the game, and it was a chance which they should have taken. Midfield maestro Andrés Cubas lofted a through ball over the top of the Brazil defence for striker Jonathan Calleri to run on to. With just the goalkeeper to beat, Calleri looked certain to score, but his shot was matched by a spectacular save from the Brazilian shot-stopper Cajú.
Brazil made no mistake in converting their first opportunity of the game, and it came, as so many of their goals have this tournament, through a short-corner routine. Neymar and Coutinho linked up to pick out midfielder Mosca completely unmarked in the box, and the Brazilian had time to control the ball before firing his side in to the lead with a low shot.
Wesley Santos very nearly doubled Brazil's advantage in the final minutes of the first half. A spell of Argentina dominance was broken down by Casemiro and the creative Philippe Coutinho played a wonderful through ball in to the path of Santos, who was on his way to securing a comfortable lead for Brazil. However, the striker fluffed his effort with just the goalkeeper to beat, and the ball landed tamely in the stands.
Argentina began the second half like they did the first, and looked to fire their way back in to the game. Andrés Cubas was at the heart of their attacking play, and his lobbed ball was controlled well by substitute Cristian Pavón, who had just the goalkeeper to beat. However, much like in the first half against Calleri, Brazil goalkeeper Cajú was more than capable of denying Argentina a goal, parrying the shot to the side.
Argentina were stubborn in approach, however, and another one of Cubas' through balls found its way to Pavón. The striker looked to make amends for his missed opportunity but when one-on-one, much like last time, Cajú was more than capable of denying him a goal.
Cajú was beaten, however, with fifteen minutes remaining. Andrés Cubas' corner was not dealt with properly and Erik Lamela's flick-on found Leonel Cardozo at the back post. However, the Argentine's header bounced off the crossbar and gave Brazil a moment of relief.
The Argentinians were not to be denied their equaliser, and it came with less than five minutes remaining in the second half. Nicolás Bacolla's deep cross caught the Brazilian defence completely off-guard, and Cristian Pavón found himself with just the goalkeeper to beat. His initial effort clattered the crossbar, but the ball fell kindly for him to send the game in to extra-time, breaking the hearts of the Brazilian fans.
Both sides contained heavy legs following a long and tiring campaign, and this showed in extra-time with both sides struggling to muster attacks. But it was Brazil who had the last laugh in the end, and the men in yellow would bring the trophy home. The ever-dangerous Coutinho picked out Neymar in the box with a delightful pass, but the captain's effort was saved by goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli. But the ball fell in to the path of Cebolinha, who smashed his shot in to the top corner to give Brazil Copa América glory!
The game ended with the score at 2-1, and Christian Schäfer's men had written history once more!
Mosca (Brazil) 9.0
Christian Schäfer's Post-Match Interview:
"I am delighted with the win and I am happy for the players and the fans. We will remember this victory for a long while and I am sure that it will go down in history as one of the greatest football finals ever. I am delighted for Neymar to lift the trophy on his record-breaking appearance, he is now Brazil's all-time leading player in appearances. Congratulations to him, and to the rest of the players, they deserve this moment!"
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