Football 1 year ago

Peru's hand of God leaves Brazil bitter

  • Peru's hand of God leaves Brazil bitter

    Peru's Raul Ruidiaz celebrates after scoring against Brazil during their Copa America Centenario football tournament match in Foxborough, Massachusetts, United States, on June 12, 2016. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts, June 13 Reuters-AAP - Peru substitute Raul Ruidiaz's handball sparked dramatic scenes as powerhouse Brazil suffered a controversial 1-0 loss and group stage exit from the Copa America.

With 75 minutes gone Ruidiaz turned Andy Polo's cross into the net from close range, punching it past the keeper with his right arm.

Dramatic scenes followed as referee Andres Cunha was surrounded by players from both sides and took five minutes to make a decision while collaborating with his assistant referee.

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Television pictures showed Ruidiaz grinning after the goal had been awarded and Brazil players apoplectic at a decision that sent them tumbling out of the tournament before the knockout stages for the first time since 1987.

The early exit comes just two years after what was viewed as a World Cup disaster for Brazil, when they were thrashed 7-1 by a rampant Germany in a home World Cup semi-final, before being humbled 3-0 by The Netherlands in the third-place playoff.

"The players and I cannot change what everyone saw," said Brazil coach Dunga.

"I am certain that the fans watched the game and saw how Brazil were eliminated, we weren't eliminated based on football."

Dunga's midfielder Miranda was philosophical.

"We saw that the ball hit his hand but you can't complain," Miranda said.

"(The referee) said he discussed it with four officials and that they didn't see the handball.

"Brazil tried from the first minute to score but the ball didn't want to go in unfortunately, and that's football. If you don't score you pay for it."

Brazil still had chances though, especially Elias, who missed a golden opportunity to equalise for Brazil in injury time when he failed to connect properly with only the goalkeeper to beat.

The result came just hours after Ecuador hammered a hapless Haiti 4-0 to guarantee their quarter-final berth.

Enner Valencia opened the scoring after 10 minutes and Jaime Ayovi doubled Ecuador's advantage nine minutes later after a swift counter-attack.

Christian Noboa made it 3-0 with a well-placed shot after 56 minutes before Antonio Valencia tapped home the fourth after another break on 77 minutes.

The result left Haiti, who were competing in the competition for the first time, bottom of the group on no points and a goal difference of minus 11.

The result lifted Peru to the top of Group B and eliminated Brazil, who dropped down to third place behind Ecuador in the tournament being played in the United States to celebrate the centenary of governing body CONMEBOL and the Copa America.

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