Rio De Janeiro: Brazil will be looking to maintain their defensive invincibility against Peru in Sunday’s Copa America final, midfielder Casemiro says.
The hosts have yet to concede a goal in the tournament, including when they thrashed Peru 5-0 in a group-stage match earlier in the competition. And keeping their goal intact will be key to lifting a ninth Copa crown, according to the Real Madrid man.
“Ending the competition without conceding a goal is one of our aims,” said Casemiro. “And if we don’t concede a goal, it’s not just thanks to the guys at the back, those up front help us a lot and that makes the difference.”
The woodwork also made a difference in Brazil’s 2-0 semi-final victory over arch rivals Argentina, as did referee Roddy Zambrano’s refusal to consult VAR twice when Lionel Messi and his team-mates were claiming a penalty.
Brazil have identified the main threat to their defensive invincibility on Sunday at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium: Peru forward Paolo Guerrero.
He’s a player well known to Brazilian fans having spent the last seven years playing in the country. The 35-year-old scored the winning goal for Corinthians in the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup final against Chelsea.
“He’s a player who deserves special attention for everything he’s done in the past,” said center-back Marquinhos. “I know him well, I played with him for a bit at Corinthians and I've played against him several times for the national team.”