It was not pretty, nor particularly convincing at times, but Brazil will take it – and so will Philippe Coutinho. With a little help from the struggling Barcelona star and a welcome hand from VAR, the Copa America hosts overcame the loss of Neymar and sealed a 3-0 victory over Bolivia that on another day could have finished with a result far less favourable to the South American giants.
The Selecao caused the first stir of the Copa America as they walked out decked in white, a nod to their original colours that were all but jettisoned in the wake of the 1950 World Cup ‘Maracanazo’ at the hands of Uruguay in favour of the now more familiar yellow.
By the time the whistle blew for the end of the first half, though, the overall mood was rather grey. Bolivia have proved tricky opening game opposition for more than a few nations in the Copa and so they proved again, ceding control of the ball and inviting their illustrious rivals to try and break them down.