Peru grabbed a slice of revenge for their loss to Brazil in the Copa America final on Tuesday, defeating the five-time World Cup winners 1-0 in a friendly in Los Angeles. A headed goal from Argentina-based defender Luis Abram was enough to give Peru a hard-fought win over the Brazilians. Brazil, who defeated Peru 3-1 in the final of the Copa America in Rio de Janeiro in July, never got going to the disappointment of a 32,287 crowd at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The defeat brought an end to Brazil’s 17-game winning streak, a run which started with a victory over the United States just over a year ago.
Brazil coach Tite meanwhile opted against starting Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, four days after he had made a successful return from injury with a goal and an assist in a 2-2 draw with Colombia on Friday. Tite, who had been reluctant to start Neymar in back-to-back games as the striker regains fitness, brought on the PSG forward after 63 minutes in place of Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.
Neymar attempted to up the tempo in attack, but was unable to break the deadlock, with Brazil, who were also missing Dani Alves and Thiago Silva, struggling to find their usual attacking rhythm. Instead it was Peru who grabbed a winner, Abram rising to meet Yoshimar Yotun’s free-kick to glance in the winner.
Martinez hat-trick fires
Argentina over Mexico
Lautaro Martinez fired a 22-minute hat-trick as Argentina thrashed Mexico 4-0 in a friendly international in San Antonio on Tuesday. Inter Milan striker Martinez scored in the 17th, 22nd and 39th minutes at the Alamodome to give Argentina a deserved win over a lacklustre Mexico team.
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Leandro Paredes scored Argentina’s other goal from the penalty spot after 33 minutes as the South American giants romped into a 4-0 lead at halftime. But it was the 22-year-old Martinez who grabbed the headlines with a clinical exhibition of finishing which took his international goals tally to nine in 13 appearances.
Martinez opened the scoring in the 17th minute, picking the ball up deep in Mexican territory before twisting and turning past several defenders and firing low past Guillermo Ochoa. Martinez bagged his second five minutes later, with River Plate’s Exequiel Palacios punishing sloppy play in the Mexican defence to send the Inter Milan striker through on goal to finish for 2-0.
A disastrous start for Mexico got worse shortly after the half hour mark when Carlos Salcedo was adjudged to have handled in the area to concede a penalty. Paredes duly stepped up to convert to give Argentina a 3-0 lead. Martinez completed his hat-trick six minutes from half-time, again capitalising on lackadaisical Mexican defending to dart in and shoot past Ochoa.
Argentina were without several first choice regulars, with Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria all missing from their two-game international tour of North America.
Meanwhile, the United States halted their two-game losing streak after Jordan Morris’s second-half goal was enough to secure a 1-1 draw with Uruguay in a friendly international in St.Louis on Tuesday.
Gregg Berhalter’s side had been looking to bounce back after being comprehensively outplayed in a 3-0 loss to Mexico in New Jersey last Friday.
However the USA struggled to make much an impression against an under-strength Uruguay in humid conditions at Busch Stadium, better known as the home of baseball’s St.Louis Cardinals. Uruguay, missing star strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, were barely troubled by the USA in the first half.
Uruguay took the lead five minutes after the restart, when a lightning counter-attack culminated with Los Angeles FC star Brian Rodriguez turning Aaron Long inside out before rifling home past Guzan.
The USA kept plugging away in search of an equaliser and finally got their reward in the 79th minute, when Nick Lima’s bizarre deflected cross fell into the path of Morris at the farpost who steered the ball home with his chest.
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