Neymar scores goal and provides assist against Peru

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Brazil kicked off their Copa America campaign with a hard-earned 2-1 victory over Peru.

Dunga surprised a few with his team selection, leaving out captain Thiago Silva and opting with a Miranda-David Luiz partnership in defence.

Sticking with his usual 4-2-2-2, the Brazilian coach replaced the injured duo of Luiz Gustavo and Oscar with Manchester City's Fernandinho and Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker Fred.

It was perhaps an intriguing decision to leave Roberto Firmino, who recently scored the winner in a 1-0 friendly victory over Honduras.

Peru lined up with an organised 4-2-3-1, starting with a back 4 comprising Frankfurt's Carlos Zambrano in central defence and Fiorentina's Juan Manuel Vargas at left back. Copa America 2011 top scorer and Peru's talisman Paolo Guerrero was passed fit to start as Los Incas' sole forward, with Schalke's Jefferson Farfan on the right flank and Cristian Cueva on the left.

Brazil recover from nervy start

It was a nervy start to the match as David Luiz was immediately put under pressure by Guerrero in Brazil's penalty area.

Goalkeeper Jefferson's resultant clearance was straight to the feet of Cueva, and the Peru international made no mistake from 10 yards out to hand the underdogs a shock lead in just the third minute.

It looked as if the Brazil of last year World Cup had returned as comical defending led to Los Incas taking the lead. Just moments later however, Dani Alves surged down the right flank and delivered an inch-perfect cross that was met by the head of an unmarked Neymar in the Peru penalty area, for his 44th international goal for Selecao in just 64 appearances.

The Peruvians only had themselves to blame for switching off right after going ahead. 1-1 after just 5 minutes of action at the Estadio Municipal Germán Becker.

Peru's joy proved to be short-lived as the Brazilians started to find their tempo, a swift counter attack resulted in a 4v2 scenario, with Neymar playing a neat one-two with teammate Diego Tardelli, before his shot was cleared off the line by Carlos Zambrano.

Dunga's side dominated the rest of the half, producing some nice passing plays without any end product. Credit has to go to Peru's coach, Ricardo Gareca, as they recovered from the equaliser with an organized and disciplined defence that held firm against Brazil's attack.

It was by no means a 'park the bus' situation though, as Peru looked to go forward at every available opportunity, attempting to catch Selecao on the counter. It was how the half would finish, at one goal apiece.

Second half

The second half was no different to the first, as Brazil continued where they left off. They gave away the ball on many occasions and struggled to keep hold of possession. It was not until the 53th minute, where talisman Neymar nearly put the Samba Boys ahead, with a moment of magic.

The Selecao captain, who was no doubt the best player on the pitch, cut inside from the left flank and unleashed an unstoppable curler towards goal, only to see his 25-yard effort rattle against the crossbar. Peru dropped deeper into their half and struggled in their transition from defence to attack, as Brazil solidified their defence.

Brazil made the first change of the night, as Dunga brought on Douglas Costa for Diego Tardelli, seeking to inject more speed into the game and strength on the ball. On the other side, Gareca also looked to add more speed to Peru's attacks by bringing on two pacy forwards in Andre Carrillo and Yordi Reyna.

The Selecao were the side that threatened further as they went on another quick counter attack from Farfan's free-kick off the wall in the 75th minute. Neymar won the loose ball and broke forward, eventually squaring for Douglas Costa, who poked the ball past the Peru keeper but via the wrong side of the post.

Costa wins it for Brazil

When it seemed like both sides were to share the spoils, Neymar had other ideas two minutes into the injury time. The outstanding Brazil captain went on another marauding run down the left flank, cut inside, and just when everyone assumed he was going to shoot, showed tremendous vision to play a magical pass towards an unmarked Douglas Costa who sprang the offside trap.

The substitute would make no mistake as he calmly slotted past Peru custodian Gallese to send the Selecao fans into wild celebrations. That was how the game would finish, as Brazil come away with a narrow 2-1 victory over Peru in their opening Copa America Group C match, their 11th straight victory under Dunga.

Peru will feel hard done by the result, as they put up a great defensive display. Questions will be asked over the attacking threat of Peru though, as Gareca's side failed to register a single shot on goal in the second half.

However, Los Incas certainly showed today that they shouldn't be taken lightly and are capable to beat teams in the latter stages. Paolo Guerrero was well stifled by Brazil's defence and Peru will need to get more out of their talisman if they were to have any chance of progressing to the quarter-finals.

Three vital points for Brazil

Brazil were unconvincing yet managed to come away with the crucial three points. The Selecao were clearly missing Gustavo & Oscar, as shown by their failure to retain the ball and penetrate the opposition final third. Fernandinho struggled as the holding midfielder of the team, playing out of his usual position as a runner in midfield.

Fred did his defensive job for the team, but failed to offer the same attacking threat that Oscar provides. Yet it was Neymar who once again stepped up for Brazil when most needed, scoring the equaliser and showing such maturity and decisiveness to play the defence-splitting pass towards Douglas Costa for the winning goal.

Dani Alves was also impressive on his return to the international set-up, a constant menace down the right flank with his forward runs and pin-point crosses. However, Dunga still has work to do if Brazil want to emerge as champions of the tournament.

An opening round of fixtures where majority of the favourites of the competition struggled to impress, Argentina were held to a 2-2 draw by Paraguay in Group B, and Colombia were shocked 1-0 by Venezuela in the other Group C encounter.

It was still a commendable performance from Dunga's side considering the injuries that they have suffered. Brazil move to the top of Group C alongside Venezuela with three points each, while Colombia and Peru make up the chasing pack, both sat bottom of the table with zero points.

It was a difficult start to the Copa America for the Brazil, but the Selecao will be happy that their campaign has begun with a victory.

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