Wednesday, November 20, 2019 04:38:23 PM
AFP, 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.
Sergio Aguero headed against the bar in the first half and Messi rattled the post after the break, while Brazil captain Dani Alves and midfielder Arthur both got away with blatant off-the-ball fouls inside the area on Manchester City pair Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi respectively.
Argentina have complained to South American football's governing body CONMEBOL over the refereeing in that semi-final, although to no avail as the result will not be changed.
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.
Currently playing for Internacional in Porto Alegre, he previously helped Corinthians win the Sao Paulo state championship in 2013 and Flamengo to do likewise in the Rio state championship four years later.
"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."
One of those was two weeks ago at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo when Guerrero was kept quiet while Peru when into a defensive meltdown.
They've bounced back spectacularly from that set-back, though, first ousting Uruguay on penalties in the quarter-final, in a match in which they were clearly second best, and then in a stunning performance to beat the outgoing champions Chile 3-0 in the last four.
"It'll be a great final, a really difficult match. We can't think it's already won, we have to play it," said Casemiro.
"They've eliminated great teams - Uruguay and Chile - we have to respect them."
It's only the second time Peru have reached the Copa final in its 103-year history.
They beat Colombia in a play-off in Caracas in 1975 after each side had won at home in a two-legged title decider.
And their first title in 1939 on home soil came at the end of a single five-team tournament played in a round-robin format.
"We've got to approach it calmly. It's true that we've achieved something very important after many years," said forward Raul Ruidiaz.
"We're aware and calm that there's one more step to glory.
"We need to play with our feet on the ground and give everything on the pitch to make it happen."
Brazil, in stark comparison, have won the Copa eight times and finished runners-up on a further 11 occasions, a record bettered only by Uruguay and Argentina.
From 1997 to 2007, Brazil won four out of five editions of the Copa, missing out only in 2001 when the Selecao turned up in Colombia without leading lights such as Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos -four crucial players in their World Cup success the next year.
Jofra Archer, the England pacer, has said that bowling to Kane Williamson in the New Zealand Test series will be as challenging as it was against Steve Smith in the Ashes.Smith, the top-ranked batsman in MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings, was in excellent form in the 2019 Ashes, accumulating 774 ...
PRICES of rice have been increasing. This is happening at a time when people are trying hard to absorb tremendous shock following the abnormal price hike of onion. Like the onions, the millers earlier had claimed surplus of rice and demanded cash incentives to export their product; whereas now prices ...
AFP, Seoul : The United States walked out of talks on hiking South Korea's contribution for American troops on its soil, Seoul said Tuesday, as Washington accused its ally of rebuffing a "fair and equitable" agreement.US President Donald Trump has repeatedly demanded the South pay more towards the costs of the ...
Singer-actor Jennifer Lopez revealed that she did not charge money for playing the role of a stripper in her last release 'Hustler'. "I didn't get paid a whole bunch of money for 'Hustlers,'" the 50-year-old star told for their 2019 'Men of the Year' issue released on Monday."I did it ...
Entertainment Report :The speculations since past few days that popular actress Mithila is set to tie the knot with eminent Tollywood filmmaker Srijit Mukherji.The rumour got wind in its sail as one of the prominent Indian daily newspapers The Times of India revealed the wedding date of the duo to ...
Chattogram Bureau :The enthusiastic taxpayers are rushing to the divisional Income Tax Fair-2019 now is being held at GEC convention centre in the city under Chattogram Income Tax Zone for the 4th day on Sunday since November 14 last.A total of 26807 eligible tax payers submitted their return forms and ...
A significant change has been made in Sri Lankan politics while former wartime defence chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa won a presidential election on Saturday defeating his rival Sajith Premadasa with a huge margin of vote. We do congratulate Mr Rajapaksa for this victory. Media reports said that Mr Rajapaksa was the ...
Kareena Kapoor Khan needs no introduction when it comes to fashion and style. She can pull off any sartorial style with utmost grace and elegance. The actress is currently gearing up for her upcoming film Good Newwz starring opposite Akshay Kumar. The makers of the film have released the much-awaited ...
Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Now-a-days, Toma Mirza is a talented film actress who got the National Film Award for first time for acting in Shahneoyaj Cacoly-directed Nodijon. This time Toma is acting in yet another film of the same director. Toma will appear in Cacoly’s upcoming film titled From Bangladesh. Toma ...
AFP, Paris :Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 99th international goal as reigning champions Portugal secured their place at the Euro 2020 finals on Sunday with a 2-0 victory away to Luxembourg, while France ended their qualifying campaign with victory.Bruno Fernandes struck the opening goal on 39 minutes before Ronaldo tapped in ...
Agencies, Bangkok :China on Monday called on the United States to stop flexing its muscles in the South China Sea and to avoid adding "new uncertainties" over Taiwan, during high-level talks that highlighted the tension between the world's two major powers.The remarks by Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe to US ...
AFP, Beijing :China confirmed on Monday that its first domestically built aircraft carrier had sailed through the Taiwan Strait for "routine" training and tests after Taipei accused Beijing of intimidation around upcoming elections.The ship, which has yet to be named, is Beijing's second carrier and will add massive firepower to ...