Brazil coping well at the Copa America without Neymar

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Two sumptuous goals from Thiago Silva and Roberto Firmino were enough to send Brazil through to the last eight of the Copa America tournament in Chile.

Life without star man and influential player Neymar was catastrophic at last summer's World Cup, seeing them being trashed 7-1 by the Germans in their own backyard.

The Brazilian forward has been banned for the rest of the Copa América, depriving the tournament of one of its biggest stars.

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Brazil settled in the contest very early as expected. Brazil's midfield trio of Robinho, Phillipe Coutinho and Willian were twice as good as Luciano Pavorotti's performance at Madison Square Gardens in 1987.

The trio pressed early and were zipping the ball around with alacrity and real intent, getting good support from fullback Dani Alves. The captain arm ban was given to Miranda but that didn't stop Thiago Silva from being in the spotlight.

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Neymar watches from the stands

Poor marking courtesy of the Venezuelan's left an unmarked Silva in the box, who graciously accepted his gift with a sleek side-foot volley home from 12 yards out in minute nine. He celebrates by pointing up to Neymar, who watches on from the stands.

Robinho was given his fist start since 2011 and should have put the Selecaos further ahead, after his well taken first time volley went agonizingly wide. From there on, one would expect a route based on the fashion in-which the Brazilians went about their business.

Venezuela kept the ball for some good periods but were unable to trouble the Brazilian keeper Jefferson. Despite Brazil having the lion's share of possession the half ended 1-0 in favor of Brazil.

On the resumption two subs from Sanvicente, with Gonzalez and Martinez coming on for Vargas and Seijas who were on yellow cards, was a clear indication that he didn't want to risk going down to 10 men again.

This didn't stop Dunga's men Dani Alves from lifting a pass down the right for Robinho, and the 'Santos man' held it up before interchanging with the right-back once more. He then switches the ball over to the left which worked its way to Willian who drives to the byline and fires in a cross which found Manchester United's summer target Firmino who taps home in minute 51.

Brazil have won the last game of the group stage in nine of the last 10 editions of the Copa America, losing just once. However in minute 71 Venezuela showed Brazil that they cannot afford to step off the gas, with Guerra cutting the ball back from the byline on the right to Gonzalez.

The substitute takes a touch before hammering a shot towards goal that was blocked by Thiago Silva. Shortly after, Sanvicente made his final switch and brought on Miku in place of Guerra. He goes straight into the box as Arango prepares to fire in a free kick. It forces Jefferson into action, but an offside decision was given against Vizcarrondo, somewhat bemusingly.

Brazil secure place in next round

Brazil continues to press to extend their lead but had to curse their luck in the 81' after Willian's corner was only half-cleared by Venezuela and Marquinhos helps it back into the middle with a header. It floats toward David Luiz who goes for an acrobatic overhead kick. He makes a sweet connection but it's close enough to Baroja for the him to make the save.

With a slim chance of remaining in the competition Sanvicente's men decided to throw everything in the kitchen sink. They were, however, rewarded for their gallant effort in minute 86 when Arango curling free kick rainbowed nicely over the wall to Jefferson who gets across his goal to parry it onto the upright. The rebound bounces kindly for Miku who converts with a diving header.

A cagey four minutes plus time added on saw the Selecao making last ditch tackles and nervy clearances. The game was finally settled by referee Pitana from Argentina. Brazil finally learning how to cope without Neymar.

The Selecao went through top of Group C, setting up a quarter-final with Paraguay. Miku set up a tense ending with a consolation strike, but La Vinotinto couldn't get the second they needed to keep their campaign alive.

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