Hosts Brazil started their Copa America title defense with a comfortable victory over a Covid-affected Venezuela in the tournament opener.
Talisman Neymar scored one goal and assisted another, adding a second for Tite’s side with a second-half penalty before setting up Gabriel Barbosa late.
Paris St-Germain defender Marquinhos scored an opener in the 23rd minute after Venezuela failed to clear a corner.
Nine-time winners Brazil won their first Copa America title in 12 years in 2019.
Twelve of Venezuela’s players and staff tested positive for Covid-19 a day before their opener in Group A, which also includes Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Everton forward Richarlison was denied a first-half goal for offside and Neymar narrowly missed as Brazil struggled to assert dominance at first.
Neymar scored his 67th international goal after Yohan Cumana fouled Danilo, but he missed another great opportunity to come close to Pelé’s national record of 77, shooting wide after breaking through the Venezuelan defense in the finals .
The PSG striker then went around goalkeeper Joel Graterol before lining up to replace Barbosa for a tap-in.
The 47th edition of the Copa America – delayed for a year due to the coronavirus epidemic – takes place in Brazil, after Colombia and Argentina have been dropped from the tournament.
The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) withdrew Colombia from co-hosts in May amid anti-government protests and Argentina was later replaced due to the increase in Covid-19 cases in the country.
The BBC is broadcasting all 28 matches of the 2021 Copa America, which runs until July 10 and will feature the 10 nations of the Conmebol.
- 16Lodi dos SantosBooked at 38 minutesReplaced byWolf Silvaat 45′minutes
- 17Tolentino Coelho de LimaReplaced byby Barros Ribeiroat 45′minutes
- 8FredReplaced byFabinhoat 85′minutes
- 9Gabriel JesusReplaced byVinicius Juniorat 85′minutes
- 7RicharlisonReplaced byBarbosa Almeidaat 65′minutesBooked at 66 minutes
- 3Thiago Silva
- 6Wolf Silva
- 11by Barros Ribeiro
- 12Pereira da Silva
- 13Souza Junior Milk
- 18Vinicius Junior
- 19Sousa Soares
- 21Barbosa Almeida
- 21GonzálezReplaced byHernándezat 90+2′minutes
- 8La Mantia
- 14Du pinBooked at 80 minutes
- 24ManzanoBooked at 69 minutesReplaced byCelisat 77′minutes
- 23Cassères JrReplaced byCastilloat 84′minutes
- 9AristeguietaReplaced byCordobaat 77′minutes
The match ends, Brazil 3, Venezuela 0.
Second Half ends, Brazil 3, Venezuela 0.
Hand ball from Richard Celis (Venezuela).
Substitution, Venezuela. Ronald Hernández replaces Alexander González.
Free kick by Vinícius Júnior (Brazil) on the left wing.
Foul by Alexander González (Venezuela).
Casemiro (Brazil) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Richard Celis (Venezuela).
Goal! Brazil 3, Venezuela 0. Gabi (Brazil) of a point blank attempt at the lower left corner. Assisted by Neymar.
Everton Ribeiro (Brazil) fouls.
Free kick wonJúnior Moreno (Venezuela) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Brazil. Fabinho replaces Fred.
Substitution, Brazil. Vinícius Júnior replaces Gabriel Jesus.
Substitution, Venezuela. Edson Castillo replaces Cristian Cásseres Jr.
Corner, Brazil. Licensed by Joël Graterol.
Attempt saved. Neymar (Brazil) right footed shot from the left of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Gabi.
Attempt saved. Casemiro (Brazil) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Fred.
Luis Del Pino (Venezuela) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
free kick won Gabi (Brazil) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Faute by Luis Del Pino (Venezuela).