Brazil 2-1 Colombia: Selecao clinch top spot with 100th-minute winner amid controversy

By Sports Desk June 23, 2021

Defending champions Brazil secured top spot in Group B in dramatic fashion, claiming a last-gasp 2-1 win over Colombia as controversy marred the Copa America showdown.

Colombia were left seething when Brazil substitute Roberto Firmino's 78th-minute equaliser came after the ball deflected off referee Nestor Pitana in the build-up – the official allowing play to continue rather than call for a drop-ball, leading to lengthy protests from Colombia.

Brazil compounded Colombia's frustrations after Casemiro struck in the 10th minute of stoppage time as the Selecao extended their winning streak to 10 games on Wednesday.

Colombia had been holding on to a 1-0 lead after Luis Diaz's spectacular 10th-minute volley, ending Brazil's six-game run without conceding a goal.

Reinaldo Rueda's Colombia took the lead in stunning fashion, when Juan Cuadrado whipped in a cross from the right flank, finding an unmarked Diaz – who fired home a sensational bicycle volley at the back post in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil, who went into the game having scored more goals (seven) and had more shots on target per game (eight) than any other team at this year's Copa America, struggled to create chances in the first 45 minutes.

Neymar had his first sniff on goal in the 55th minute from a direct ball he volleyed tamely on target, while he shot wide from outside the box shortly after.

In the 66th minute, half-time substitute Firmino produced a clever pass for Neymar to round goalkeeper David Ospina, only to hit the post off-balance from an angle.

Brazil found an equaliser with 12 minutes remaining, although it was controversial after the ball hit the referee in the lead-up, with play allowed to continue, rather than a drop-ball.

Tite's Selecao immediately pushed the ball wide to substitute Renan Lodi, whose cross was glanced in by Firmino, with Ospina unable to prevent it from creeping under him.

With virtually the last kick of the game, an unmarked Casemiro headed in Neymar's corner at the near post, sparking mass celebrations.

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    ROUND-UP

    - Manchester City have joined the race to sign Fiorentina's hot property forward Dusan Vlahovic, claims La Repubblica.

    - Barcelona have held discussions with Manchester City about the potential to sign Spanish forward Ferran Torres in January, according to ESPN.

    - Fichajes reports that Liverpool are interested in signing Lille's Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches. Lille have valued him at £34m.

    - Arsenal are homing in on Lille's Canada international forward Jonathan David, according to the London Evening Standard. David is currently Ligue 1's leading scorer.

    - Calciomercato claims Christian Eriksen is close to terminating his deal with Inter, having been unable to play since his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.

    - Bayern Munich midfielder Marc Roca is in the sights of Roma who have considered a move for the Spaniard, claims Corriere dello Sport.

    - Chelsea have opened talks with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy over a new deal, claims Football Insider.

    - Everton have joined the race to sign Zenit striker Sardar Azmoun, according to 90min.

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