South American U20 Championship: Brazil lose to Peru and crash out in opening round
Brazil's Under-20 side crashed to an embarrassing 2-0 defeat to Peru on Friday night to join hosts Argentina in exiting the South American Under-20 Championship at the opening stage.
The defeat means that, for the first time since 1979, Brazil will not participate at this summer's Under-20 World Cup and ends a run of three consecutive tournament wins for the Seleção.
Coming into the game knowing that they had given themselves a chance of qualification with an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Venezuela earlier this week, coach Emerson Ávila made the decison to include forward Leandro over striker Ademilson.
Brazil struggled to deal with long-balls over the defence, having played a high defensive line and it was this fault which led to the first goal midway through the first-half.
Centre-back Diego Chávez hit a long-ball over centre-back Luan, with Dória playing striker Yordi Reyna onside to go on and pass the ball into the net beyond keeper Luiz Gustavo—who remained routed to his line.
Felipe Anderson went close to equalising soon after having brought down an excellent long pass from midfielder Rafinha, before cutting inside and firing left-footed into the side netting.
The Santos playmaker was withdrawn, along with Leandro, at the break, with Flamengo duo Adryan and Mattheus coming into the midfield. Brazil improved briefly after the break, but began to look nervous as an exit loomed.
Midway through the half, the Seleção had another lucky escape as Real Madrid's Cristian Benavente struck the bar with a long-range effort and Dória was forced to clear off the line from forward Edison Flores' follow-up effort.
Late on, though, Flores made amends for his earlier miss and killed off Brazil's hopes of qualification for the latter stages. Substitute Jean Deza burst forward and struck the post with a shot from the left-flank, with Flores quick to follow up and turn home the rebound.
Brazil, with their much hyped squad heading into the tournament, will now be left to reflect on a tournament that has seen several of their star players' reputations take a substantial hit.
BRAZIL: Luiz Gustavo, Igor Julião, Dória, Luan, Mansur; Misael, Lucas Cândido (Ademilson, 78'), Rafinha, Felipe Anderson (Adryan 46'); Leandro (Mattheus 46'), Bruno Mendes. Coach: Emerson Ávila
PERU: Campos, Ortiz, Araujo, Chavez (Torrejón 67'), Guarderas; Flores, Gomez, Hinostroza (García 75'), Cartagena; Reyna (Deza 54'), Benavente. Coach: Daniel Ahmed