Peru - Raul Ruidiaz - Ricardo Gareca - react after losing to Brazil in Copa America final
Action Images / Reuters

MLS trio suffers heartbreak as Peru fall to Brazil in Copa America final

Peru's unlikely run to the Copa América final did not come with a fairytale ending for the three MLS players participating.

La Blanquirroja put in a valiant effort in Sunday afternoon's title game but could not withstand favorites Brazil — playing on their home soil — in a 3-1 loss. Seattle Sounders forward Raul Ruidiaz and Portland Timbers winger Andy Polo both made substitute appearances in the final game, while NYCFC center back Alex Callens watched from the bench.

Brazil jumped into an early lead thanks to breakout star Everton, who was left unmarked at the far post to finish off a pinpoint cross from Gabriel Jesus. Peru looked to have gotten a lifeline just before halftime when veteran Paolo Guerrero converted from the penalty spot, but immediately handed the lead back to the hosts as Gabriel Jesus took advantage of a slip to coolly finish.

Peru stayed in the mix in part thanks to some wayward finishing from Brazil and were presented a golden opportunity when Gabriel Jesus picked up his second yellow card of the match in the 70th minute. That prompted attacking substitutions to introduce Ruidiaz, and eventually Polo, but Peru were unable to capitalize on the man advantage before Brazil iced the game with a stoppage-time penalty.

Los Incas will still hold their heads high after this one, though — it was their first trip to the tournament's final since 1975, and they stunned onlookers by knocking off Uruguay and Chile in the knockout stages after squeaking in as a third-placed team.

Topics: 

LIVE YOUR COLORS: Download the free MLS app - The official MLS app gets a major update for 2019, making it easier than ever to keep up with your favorite club, check standings, watch videos and much more.