Brazil 3-0 Venezuela: Neymar stars as hosts begin Copa America title defence with win

Copa America 2021: Neymar stars as Brazil comfortably beat Venezuela in tournament opener

Hosts Brazil began the defence of their Copa America title with a comfortable victory over a Covid-affected Venezuela in the tournament’s opening match.

Talisman Neymar scored one and assisted another, adding a second for Tite’s side with a second-half penalty before setting up Gabriel Barbosa late on.

Paris St-Germain defender Marquinhos bundled in a 23rd-minute opener after Venezuela failed to clear a corner.

Nine-time winners Brazil won a first Copa America title in 12 years in 2019.

Twelve of Venezuela’s players and coaching staff tested positive for Covid-19 a day before their opening match in Group A, which also includes Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Colombia won their opener against Ecuador 1-0, with Edwin Cardona scoring the only goal of the game minutes before half-time from a cleverly-worked free-kick.

The goal was initially ruled out for offside but the video assistant referee (VAR)…

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