Coutinho brace helps Brazil forget Neymar in winning start


A brace from Philippe Coutinho handed hosts Brazil a winning start to the Copa America on Friday in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia as the absence of superstar Neymar was quickly forgotten.

Copa America, Neymar, Brazil, Coutinho
Brazil’s Philippe Coutinho (L) is marked by Bolivia’s Leonel Justiniano during their Copa America football tournament group match at the Cicero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium, also known as Morumbi, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 14, 2019. (Photo by Miguel SCHINCARIOL / AFP)

Barcelona’s Coutinho scored from the penalty spot early in the second half and added a close-range header three minutes later.

Substitute Everton netted a sensational third five minutes from time to clinch a Group A victory for coach Tite’s tournament favorites in Sao Paulo.

The build-up to the competition had been dominated by Neymar’s woes, firstly when he was accused of rape by a Brazilian model, and then when he damaged ankle ligaments in a friendly last week, forcing him out of the Copa.

If Brazil’s first half…

Vanguard Newspaper