Peru shocked Brazil, 1-0, to knock the Seleçao out of the Copa America Centenario and claim first place in Group B, but the result will be overshadowed by Peru’s controversial winning goal.
Raul Ruidiaz turned in a cross from Andy Polo in the 75th minute, appearing to punch the ball with his hand to get it over the line. After extensive discussion with his linesman and the fourth official, Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha awarded the goal. Television replays would show Ruidiaz clearly turned the ball in with his hand before it deflected off his thigh and into the goal.
It was a stilted performance overall from Brazil, who dominated possession and the shot charts, but failed to seriously test Peru ‘keeper Pedro Gallese outside of a stupendous save on Brazil phenom Gabriel in the 26th minute and a last-minute chance from Elias that the Brazilian couldn't get enough purchase on.
Peru will now face Group A runners-up Colombia in the quarterfinals on Friday, June 17 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
- HAND OF GOD: There is only one play from this game that will be endlessly discussed and dissected over the coming weeks and months. Here is the replay of Ruidiaz’s winning goal:
- LET ‘EM PLAY: The goal was not the only tough decision the refereeing crew faced on Sunday evening. Both sides had strong penalty shouts in first half, Brazil after a hard shove on Dani Alves as the Barcelona man drove to the byline early on, and Peru after Edison Flores appeared to be tripped just inside the area in the 44th minute. Both non-calls seemed to be in the spirit of Cunha’s approach to the game, though, as he officiated a physical but consistently called game for the full 90 minutes. However, his decision to allow Peru’s goal will be a major black mark on his performance.
- WILL THE REAL BRAZIL PLEASE STAND UP?: Brazil will certainly feel hard done by the goal that put them out of the tournament, but remember that they were also bailed out in their group opener against Ecuador, who had what appeared to be a legitimate winning goal disallowed in what ended as a 0-0 draw. In terms of Sunday night’s match, Brazil did get a couple good looks at goal – most notably a turn and shot from young Santos prodigy Gabriel that was tipped around the post by the Peru goalkeeper – but largely looked to lack the usual fluidity and flair in attack that they're known for. It is a game, and a tournament performance, sure to create plenty of scrutiny around Brazil manager Dunga, who is already pilloried in many parts of the Brazilian soccer world for his defense-minded approach to the game.
- BRA: ELIMINATED from Copa America Centenario
- PER: Colombia (A2) on Friday, June 17 (8 pm ET | FS1)